Career fears for Yao after ankle surgery

Updated: 2011-01-07 10:13


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Career fears for Yao after ankle surgery

A screen grab from Houston Rockets' website on Thursday shows an announcement that Yao Ming underwent an ankle surgery, Jan 7, 2010. [Photo/]

HOUSTON - The playing future of Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is in jeopardy after the seven-time NBA All-Star underwent surgery on Thursday to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle.

The seven-foot-six-inch (2.3-metre) Yao has not played since injuring his ankle in Houston's loss to the Washington Wizards on Nov 10 and revealed that the procedure could ultimately end his career.

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"I know this will be another long rehab but I'm looking forward to beginning my recovery," Yao Ming said in a statement. "I will use this time to consider all of my options and will make a decision regarding my career plans as I get closer to the end of my rehab."

Yao, 30, missed all of last season after fracturing a bone in his left foot that required surgery. He has played in only five of his team's 35 games this season.

In a bid to limit the impact of Yao's left foot, the team had imposed strict limits on his playing time this season.

The towering Yao, who has career averages of 19 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, left the game against the Wizards after the first 6:14 without a point, which marked the first time in eight years that he failed to score in a game.

During the offseason, Yao said it would take at least one injury-free NBA season before he could even start thinking about regaining his best form.

"Talk about recovering my form is nothing but nonsense and will only be realised if I can get through the next season smoothly," he said at the time.

Career fears for Yao after ankle surgery

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, May 17, 2009 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

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