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Yao Ming may not be 100 percent until next playoffs

Apr 15, 2010, 11:50 PM EDT

NBA_ming.jpgLook at that Rockets roster: Two good guards who can shoot from the outside or penetrate, some hard-working role playing forwards, good defenders, a lot of heart. It’s a quality roster in search of a star to lead them.

A star like Yao Ming. He will be back with the Rockets next season, but general manager Daryl Morey said not to expect too much from him at the start of the season — or maybe even the middle — during his remarks to the media (posted at NBA.com)

I think for sure by playoff time we think he can be 100 percent back, which is the most important time, obviously. He can be back to where he was last year when he was playing at a high level. What his exact ramp-up will be, I don’t think anybody knows exactly how that will happen.

Yao is on schedule with the doctors. I think he’s at two-thirds of his body weight on the treadmill. Each week it ramps up a little bit and each week he’s responded great so we expect him to be back at the start of the preseason. If it’s not exactly that, we’re OK with it. Again, we’re focused on having him in the playoffs next year and clearly we’d like to have him for a large (percentage), if not all of the regular season as well.

Morey and the Rockets are taking the right tack here — do not rush and suffer another setback. With him in the playoffs the Rockets are a threat, a real threat. You don’t rush him back for some game in Minnesota in December. He’s too fragile and too important for that. The right thing to do is wait.

But then, I expect Morey to make the right move. He makes a lot of them.

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