Yao Undergoes Foot Surgery

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

HOUSTON -- Rockets center Yao Ming had surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone in his left foot.

The team announced the surgery was performed at Memorial Hermann Hospital by Dr. Tom Clanton, the Rockets' team physician, along with Dr. Bill McGarvey.

Surgeons grafted bone onto the tarsal navicular bone and realigned his foot to reduce stress on the repair. The seven-time All-Star is slated to remain in the hospital for several days.

"Everything went according to play, and we were able to achieve not only fixation of the broken bone but also realignment of the bones to improve the stress pattern on his foot," Dr. Clanton said in the statement. "We expect him to be immobilized in a cast and using crutches for at least 6-8 weeks."

Yao is expected to miss the 2009-10 season, but be ready to go for training camp in 2010.

Yao suffered the hairline fracture late in a May 8 playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets said late last month that the injury had not healed and he was out indefinitely. Last Friday, the 7-foot-6 center announced that he'd have the surgery.

The injury had raised questions, especially in his native China, about Yao's playing future. But on July 8, he said through his agent that he was "optimistic about the future and I will return to playing basketball when my foot has fully healed."

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.

He has averaged 19.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in his career.


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