Yao Ming has battled injuries since the day the Houston Rockets drafted him number one overall back in 2002. When he's been healthy, he's been among the best players in the game. But he missed the entire 2009/10 season with a stress fracture in his foot, and now, he's reportedly been dealt with another setback.
Yao has suffered a second stress fracture in his left ankle and will not return for the rest of the season, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Yao Ming with another stress fracture in his left ankle. Not in same bone, but same ankle. Wondering now if he'll ever return.
Yao has only played in five games this season after suffering a left foot injury in an early-season game against the Washington Wizards. He had been targeting a December 7 return to the court, but that date came and went. An MRI showed the new stress fracture earlier Thursday, according to Feigen:
Previous tests did not show the fracture. MRI on Thur showed the injury. Might have happened compensating for sprain. He had no idea yest.
The obvious question now concerns Yao's future. By the end of this season, Yao will have played in five of a possible 164 games over the past two seasons. He also missed 27 games in 2007/08 and 34 games in 2006/07. Yao hopes to be ready by next summer, according to Feigen, but he'll also be a free agent after the year. As The Dream Shake notes, he probably has played his last game in Houston. The question is whether it will be the last game of his NBA career.