Blog Entry

Yao could miss year? (UPDATE)

Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:04 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2009 5:30 pm
It was odd to hear that the Rockets were aggressively trying to acquire a high first-round pick in last week's NBA draft, offering such core names as Aaron Brooks, Shane Battier, and Carl Landry.

Now we know why.

Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Rockets are gravely concerned that their franchise center, Yao Ming, could miss all of the 2009-10 season because his fractured left foot isn't healing properly. The situation is so serious, according to the report, that Houston officials are privately wondering if Yao will ever play again.

This would be a devastating blow to Yao, who faced the prospect of joining the elite free agent class of 2010 by declining a player option after next season. It is even more of a blow to the Rockets, who had the eventual champion Lakers on the ropes in the conference semifinals until Yao broke his foot and missed the rest of the series.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey didn't return a call seeking comment on the report. The team is preparing to have Yao examined by three foot specialists before commenting further on his status.

UPDATE: Tom Clanton, the Rockets' team physician, confirmed the severity of Yao's injury and told the Houston Chronicle it "could be career threatening." Not only has the fracture not healed, it has gotten worse, Clanton said -- extending across the bone. 

Yao's future affects every major decision the Houston front office is faced with this summer, starting with its intention to re-sign forward Ron Artest and trade former All-Star Tracy McGrady. Artest has long been expected to re-sign with Houston, even if it meant taking less money than he could get on the open market. But Artest may be less inclined to return to Houston if Yao's future is in question, and the Rockets may be less likely to invest $8-$10 million a year in a complementary player with the knowledge that Yao's injury changes everything.

Yao's lower body has broken down numerous times under the crushing weight of his 7-foot-6 frame. He missed 21 games in 2005-06 because of an infection in his left big toe and broken bone in his left foot. He broke his right leg in 2006-07, costing him 32 games, then missed the 2008 playoffs with a stress fracture in his left foot. He missed only five regular season games last season before injuring his left foot again in Game 3 of the Lakers series.

Category: NBA

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2009 4:51 pm

Yao could miss year?

Yao Ming=Sam Bowie!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2009 4:33 pm

Yao could miss year?

Yao is like the anti-Darko. It's a shame we can't see Yao go wire-to-wire healthy. The guy's a warrior, with most fundamentally sound game at Center since Ewing and Hakeem. Houston might have beat the Lakers with Yao posting up and rebounding (not to mention T-Mac doing his thing). Especially too bad because Yao went from so much hype you were sick of him before he even started playing (like Darko) to semi-quietly awesome and perhaps best center in the league but no longer receiving props because he can't stay healthy (unlike Darko, who just sucks).

Since: Dec 5, 2008
Posted on: June 29, 2009 4:32 pm

Yao could miss year?

Feeling really sad for Yao and the Rockets' fans if this becomes true. This might be the consequence of the 07-08 season when he was overplayed (37+ mpg). The guy stands at 7-6 and plays almost 33 mpg with constant double or triple team. Big Z has been playing much fewer minutes with a much less physical game. Yao is only 28 and should have many years left. If there is someone to be blamed, it is the Rockets organization. Good luck to Yao. 

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: June 29, 2009 4:21 pm

Yao could miss year?

I hope Yao get better. I am a basketball fan and like to see the very best compete at the pro level. I like watching Yao perform, he plays basketball without all the bally ho and clowning on the court. He made a dunk or scored he just ran back down the court to get in his defensive position.

That is rare this days as everyone want to thump their chest and pull on their jersey. It is refreshing that we have a few of the players left that leave the hot dogging to a few that need their ego's stroked at every opportunity.


Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:51 pm

Yao could miss year?

I wonder if the Timberwolves would field some trades with Houston?  They could dangle Ricky Rubio and trade him to the rockets since Rubio doesn't like cold weather. hahha

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:51 pm

Yao could miss year?

They said the same thing about Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

7 straight healthy years and a couple of All-Star games, he's proven otherwise. He was oh so close to retiring and if anyone can relate to Yao, it's Big Z. Rehab sucks, but there is no doubt if Yao gets through this he will still be a highly effective player and I expect that to happen, although it may take some time.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:45 pm

Yao could miss year?

To be brutally honest, I saw this coming. Hate to see it though he's a great player and has really helped the NBA become a more global product. I would not be surprised if retirement was in the cards at this point.

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:37 pm

Yao could miss year?

The guy has always been a slow healer and injury prone.  I find it very easy to see a 7 foot man with ankle or foot issues over his life.  Yao simply places so much pressure simply by standing.  It makes it it even harder believe seeing Shaq make his rounds at such a heavy height/weight combination.

Yao simply cannot catch a break.  I wonder if this means a blow up on the Rockets roster.  They should go young and not re-sign Ron Artest, while trying to trade Tract McGrady.  It makes little sense putting money on the books long term, when the key piece may not be able to play any time soon.

They should clear as much room for 2010 and 2011, but I fail to see any takers for T-Mac without thowing bad contracts to Houston, but the Knicks are always doing crazy things and you cannot put anything past them.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:35 pm

Yao could miss year?

I'm not a Houston Rockets fan but I really hope Yao gets better and can play again. He is a great player.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:31 pm

Houston, we have a problem!

I'm really surprised that Yao is not recovering. I feel for the Rockets fanbase. I thought Houston really took it to my L.A. Lakers during the play-offs and to hear this type of info would be a huge setback for Houston. I really would like to see Houston make a strong case for itself to contend next year because they're a good team. Good Luck guys!!!

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