May 22, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT
There’s always hope. That’s the thought for a ballplayer looking to return from injury right up until that moment he finally hangs it up. You never want to let go until there’s just no chance for you get more minutes on the floor.
Yao Ming may be approaching that point.
The Houston Chronicle ran an in-depth article on Ming’s progress Sunday. Yao says that it won’t be until August most likely that he’ll know if he even can play ever again.
Yao, 30, said he “might” know in August or September if he will ever play in the NBA again.
He wants to. And he wants to play here. He just doesn’t know if his body will enable him.
“It’s too early to say still,” he said. “The experience I have (tells me to keep) doing what I am supposed to do every day.
“You never know what will happen tomorrow.”
Yao’s body has been through so much stress over the past five, six, what feels like twenty years, it’s hard to see him being able to recover. If he does decide to make a return he’ll have to get a new contract. Houston is going to feel obligated to give Yao one more try but if they do, they need to be extremely cautious with any offer granted.
This story is just sad, there’s really no way around it. Yao would have been one of the best big men of his era considering his touch, footwork and raw size. He had just started to shed his soft tag when the injuries began to tear him down. The excitement of seeing Yao back to full strength this season was palpable. Some things just aren’t meant to be.
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