Yao done for season

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 9:40 PM ET

HOUSTON - Houston Rockets center Yao Ming will miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his left ankle.

The news comes a day after an MRI revealed the injury. Yao has been out since November 10 and was hoping to return in December, but the ailment has rendered that impossible.

There is still some uncertainty about Yao's situation, particularly concerning his treatment options. Rockets team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said at a press conference Friday that the "usual case" for this injury would be surgery, but Yao and the team have not yet decided on a course of treatment.

Also, while the injury ends Yao's current season, it remains to be seen if it will be career-ending. Lowe remarked that NBA players have come back from stress fractures before, but admitted that a return would include the possibility of Yao sustaining another injury.

"To say he's not at risk to continue to have stress fractures would be crazy," Lowe said. "So he is at a continued risk."

Yao has played in only five games this season after missing all of 2009-10 due surgery on his left foot, and has averaged 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in just over 18 minutes.

The seven-time All-Star missed all of last season due to surgery to repair his broken left foot, and his career has been marred by injuries. He has missed significant time in four of his seasons, in addition to sitting out of the 2009-10 campaign.


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