Definitely a downer for the NBA on the whole if they lose Yao.
via Yahoo Sports
The Rockets and Yao’s reps are frightened over his future, and the concern is the most base of all: Does Yao Ming ever play again?
“The realization has hit them that this is grave,” one NBA general manager said.
For now, the Rockets have privately told league peers it could be a full season before Yao might be able to return to basketball. Multiple league executives, officials close to Yao and two doctors with knowledge of the diagnoses are describing a troubling re-fracture of his navicular bone. Three pins were inserted a year ago, but the foot cracked in the playoffs and isn’t healing.
“It sounds like he’s missing most of next season, if not the entire 82 games,” one league executive who has had recent discussions with the Houston front office told Yahoo! Sports. “That’s all that [the Rockets] will concede quietly, but they know it’s probably much worse.”
After Yahoo! Sports first reported the severity of Yao’s injury, Rockets team physician Tom Clanton conceded franchise’s fears to the Houston Chronicle.
“At this point, the injury has the potential for him missing this next season and could be career threatening,” Clanton said. “One of the things we are trying to get is a consensus opinion on that, to make certain there is no option we are overlooking that would provide an earlier return or would be an option for treatment that he would prefer rather than doing additional surgery.”
Houston general manager Daryl Morey refused comment on Monday and a team spokesman said the Rockets will not have further comment until Yao undergoes additional medical tests.
There’s no reason for the Rockets to disclose the severity of the injury, nor the uncertainty over Yao’s future. Before the Rockets confirm a dire diagnosis, they plan to send him to three more specialists this week, a source said. For now, the Rockets have season tickets and sponsorships to sell.