Yao needs week to decide on surgery

Updated: July 3, 2009, 4:55 PM ET
Associated Press

BEIJING -- Houston Rockets All-Star center Yao Ming will have to wait up to a week before he knows whether he will need surgery on his broken left foot.

Yao
Yao

The playing future of the 7-foot-6 Yao is in question amid reports from the team doctor that the hairline fracture in his foot could keep him out all of next season, and potentially end his career.

"It hasn't been decided yet," Yao's agent, Eric Zhang, told The Associated Press on Friday. "He is still in the process of group consultations of doctors holding different opinions and different plans. The result of the consultations is due within a week."

Before that there is no way of telling whether surgery will be performed, Zhang said.

"We are still in the information gathering period," he said.

Yao sustained a hairline fracture of the tarsal navicular bone late in a May 8 playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets said last week that the injury has not healed and he was out indefinitely.

Yao played in 77 regular-season games in 2008-09, his most injury-free year since 2004-05, when he played in 80. Before last season, Yao missed chunks of the previous three seasons with leg and foot injuries.

In 2006-07, Yao missed 32 games after breaking his right leg. He sustained a stress fracture in his left foot in 2007-08, underwent surgery and sat out 26 games.

Yao is due to make more than $16 million next season, with a player option for 2010-11 that would pay him more than $17 million.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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