Yao Ming, the man who -- through no fault of his own except his fragile feet -- has never delivered on the high expectations Houston had of him, is beginning to make clear that he's played his last game here.
In an interview with a Chinese basketball site, Yao says he'll retire if it looks like he can't fully recover from his latest injury. And even if he comes back, it won't be for long.
"It all depends on the ankle. If I can get it healthy, then I'll retire in two years. Otherwise, it'll be this summer," he said.
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"I don't even know if I can play again....Walking or jogging is okay... but I need to get 80 percent of my strength back to play. I have got only about 30 percent at most now," he said, which doesn't sound good.
Yao did say he'd like his young daughter to watch him play live, but he seems resigned to the idea that it probably won't happen.
He did give an H-Town shoutout, though:
"I have spent the best 10 years of my life playing and living (in Houston)," the All-Star said. "That makes it much harder to bid farewell."