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Yao Ming out for rest of season with stress fracture in ankle

Dec 16, 2010, 3:25 PM EDT

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

This is just heartbreaking.

Yao Ming has a stress fracture in his left ankle, a different bone than the one that has been bruised and healing, but it almost certainly means he is out for the season, the Rockets announced today. Here is the official statement:

An MRI performed today on Rockets center Yao Ming revealed a stress fracture of the Medial Malleolus in his left ankle. The fracture, which is related to his previous injury of the Tarsal Navicular bone, presented itself during the course of his current rehabilitation program. There is no timetable for his return at this time.

It makes you wonder if Yao will ever play in an NBA game again. Yao said last summer if he could not get healthy he would seriously consider retirement. Yao missed all of last season recovering from foot surgery and played just five games this season before spraining his ankle.

New tests showed the fracture, this is not something he or the team knew about 24 hours ago.

Details on his rehabilitation have not been announced, but this kind of injury almost certainly means this is it for him this season.

Yao is a free agent this coming summer, if he does play in the NBA again it may well not be with Houston.

It’s heartbreaking to watch Yao’s body betray him. This is a big man who really loved the game and worked to develop a midrange game and variety of moves that Dwight Howard can only dream of. He was the complete package on the court — when his body let him stay on it. What’s more important is that he is a good person — you’d be hard pressed to find a more likable guy in the league.

We will update this story as news comes becomes available.

  1. henryd3rd - Dec 16, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    That dude should take his millions and go home and retire. Its obvious that his body can’t take the rigors of and NBA season; so why continue to try? He’s had a good career. Much better then most pundits ever thought he’d have; plus he made some great commercials.

    • passerby23 - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:26 PM

      Agreed. It’s tough for a man that big to take the rigors of a long NBA season logging a lot of minutes. You get the feeling even if he were to heal up these injuries, a different stress fracture is ready to happen. He should hang it up and the Rockets can move on.

  2. ocgunslinger - Dec 17, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    I feel nothing but sadness for Yao. Once these big men have leg problems they never seem to make it back. Oden also applies to this scenario and I am thinking that the Lakers may be running into the same issue with Andrew.

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