Horrible news Rockets fans. From the Houston Chronicle:
Rockets center Yao Ming’s comeback suffered another devastating setback with a stress fracture found Thursday morning in his left ankle.
The injury is not in the same area as the previous stress fracture, but it is a major setback.
Tests taken after his Nov. 10 sprained ankle and subsequently did not show the injury.
Yao had said in the offseason that he would consider retirement if he had been unable to stay healthy.
This has serious implications for a couple of reasons. The most obvious is that Yao’scareer in the NBA is likely over. He now needs to be considered in the company of Bill Walton in the list of greatest players never allowed to showcase their talent, due to size-related injuries. It’s so unfortunate to think what could have been for the Rockets, given that our last fond memory of Yao was him trudging out of the tunnel Willis Reed-style to beat the Lakers with free throws. It had looked like the moment where he finally was going to assert himself Hakeem-style on the rest of the league and just will his team to victories.
The second implication is that the Rockets might make a gigantic push to land Carmelo Anthony in the coming days to lock up a franchise player to replace Yao. Rockets GM Daryl Morey is widely regarded as the smartest/best GM in the NBA and he’s not likely to let the season go down in flames already. Look for him to use any means possible to make a push for the Nuggets all-star forward.