HOUSTON -- Houston Rockets center Yao Ming will miss the remainder of the NBA playoffs with a broken left foot, the team said on Saturday.
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (2nd R) sits on the bench in the fourth quarter as trainer Keith Jones attends to his leg during a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball game in Houston, Texas, May 8, 2009. [Agencies]
An examination on Saturday revealed a hairline fracture in the foot. Although no surgery is needed, Yao is expected to require eight to 12 weeks to recover, the Rockets said.
"In order for the bone to heal properly, Yao will need to immobilise the foot by wearing a walking boot," Dr. Tom Clanton, the Rockets' team physician, said in a statement on the team's website (www.nba.com/rockets).
"He should be able to resume his regular workout routine some time between the next eight to 12 weeks," Clanton added.
Yao was originally thought to have sprained his left ankle in an 108-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in game three of their Western Conference semi-finals on Friday.
Yao's injury will come as a blow to the Rockets who trail 2-1 in their best-of-seven series. The teams travel to Houston on Sunday for game four.
Yao broke the same foot in February 2008 and missed the NBA playoffs last year. He returned to play for China in the Beijing Olympics.