Adrian Wojnarowski, a longtime respected sportswriter currently working for Yahoo! (oh, these modern times) has an exclusive report out that the Rockets are quietly getting worried that Yao Ming's latest injury might just end his career.
Take it away, Woj:
"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."
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.
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The Rockets announced last week, of course, that Yao's oft-injured foot was injured once again.
There was vague talk of missing the start of next season; most people were more concerned with how his freaking foot keeps getting hurt. (No blame to him, of course; the Chinese national basketball organization is another matter.)
Now, if what Wojnaroski is reporting is true, the big center is out for at the very least much of next year, and he may have played his last game for the Rockets.
Bad, bad news.