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Rockets' Yao sits out vs. Jazz with respiratory infection

1/27/2008 - NBA Yao Ming Houston Rockets + more

HOUSTON -- Houston center Yao Ming sat out the Rockets' 97-89 loss
Sunday against Utah with an upper respiratory infection.

The 7-foot-6 Yao, voted the starting center for the Western
Conference for the All-Star Game on Feb. 17, told team officials he
felt sick when he arrived at the Toyota Center for a workout on
Sunday morning, coach Rick Adelman said.

"The doctors looked at him and they don't think it's worth the
chance," Adelman said. "We'll just have to move on."

Yao, leading the Rockets with 22.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per
game, had started every game this season. Adelman planned to start
either Carl Landry or Luis Scola, both NBA rookies, in Yao's place.

"The only thing that really changes for us is the fact that,
without Yao, there's nobody with a low-post presence he has,"
Adelman said. "As far as our offense, Carl or Luis, they're
interchangeable. Defensively is where there are some things we're
going to have to be aware of."

Yao averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds against Utah in the first
round of last year's playoffs.