Yao Ming in rare form just moments before the injury.
is down again but this injury isn’t nearly the worst he’s ever seen.
The big man has a mild sprain in his left ankle and will only be out for a week, according to the Houston Rockets. He will miss the rest of the Rockets’ road trip and return to Houston to begin rehabilitation.
He suffered the injury last night against theWizards when he took a charge from JaVale McGee in the first few minutes of the game. Houston lost 98-91 as Yao missed the rest of the game and Houston fell to 1-6.
The Rockets have been limiting his minutes with the hopes that he will stay healthy the entire season. However, head coach Rick Adelman had mentioned that he planned on increasing his playing time.
Yao missed all of the 2009-10 season after undergoing surgery to repair his broken left foot and has missed a significant amount of playing time during the last five seasons due to injury.
When drafted in 2002 by the Rockets, Yao became the first international player to be selected first overall without having played college basketball in the United States. Subsequently, the diplomatic hassle that Houston had to undergo to acquire him isn’t looking like it was worth the time as he is consistently injured and has yet to win a single playoff series with the Rockets.
With both Yao and Brad Miller out, Houston will have to lean on Chuck Hayes even more in the front court. He has only scored over ten points once with 16 against Golden State and has only pulled down more than ten rebounds with 13 against San Antonio. Luckily, Luis Scola has really stepped up and is playing lights out with nearly 22 points and 11 rebounds a game.
Houston has yet to string together a series of wins and only has one on the season when they beat Minnesota last week 120-94. Right now would be a good time for them to get some wins with games against Indiana, New York and Toronto all in the next week. However, with the Yao out and considering how poorly Houston is playing, don’t expect too many notches in the win column.
The China Doll's minutes are being cut... is anyone surprised?
Rockets fans, don’t expect to see much Yao Ming action next season. Houston’s vice president and athletic trainer Keith Jones has announced that the team will be limiting Yao’s play to just 24 minutes a game next season.
The plan has been developed in an attempt to limit stress on his bones, according to the statement. He will even be required to sit during the final minutes of some games if he has passed the mark. After missing all of last season and several parts of the last five, Houston fans should start seeing more Brad Miller and Chuck Hayes on the floor (add up both of their contracts and it’s not even half of what Yao is getting paid).
Yao’s fewest minutes per game came his rookie season when he only appeared in 29 minutes per night. This could be a sign of change in Houston with the development of a team that really has no use for an injury-prone big man. Bringing in such scorers as Courtney Lee and Kevin Martin could lead to a team that could run a lot more. However, the front court is weak with only Luis Scola and Jared Jeffries at the power forward position.
Teams have gotten a lot smaller and proven that it is a setup that can win but most of all this decision shows that the team may be realizing what a waste of time it was to bring in Yao. The center has only contributed to one playoff series win in his career and has seen way too many injuries to make up for how much this team did to bring him over from China.
It’s starting to look like the Yao experiment is going to have a negative conclusion. He has a heavy contract, a team would have to rework their offense around him and you never know what you are really going to be paying for. All of this makes him extremely untradeable. Houston, it looks like you have a problem and it’s probably going to stay that way for 24 minutes a game.