Sources: Yao set to decide treatment

Updated: July 7, 2009, 10:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Amid reports that next season and perhaps his career could be in jeopardy, Yao Ming will make a decision regarding treatment for his fractured foot in the next few days, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

Yao
Yao

The Houston Rockets center has now gathered all the information on his options, sources said.

Yao could keep his left foot in a boot for three months and see if the fracture of the tarsal navicular bone heals on its own. He could undergo surgery to repair the fracture and reduce the chances of subsequent fractures, but he would most assuredly miss the entire season under that scenario. There are also combinations of rest and surgery that he could consider.

Yao sustained a hairline fracture 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. Last week, the team doctor said that the injury could cost Yao all of next season or even be career threatening.

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.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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