7 Jan 2011

Yao says ankle surgery could end career

2:25 pm on 7 January 2011

The playing future of Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is in jeopardy after the seven-time NBA All-Star underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle.

The 30-year-old has not played since suffering the injury during Houston's loss to the Washington Wizards on November 10 and says the operation could ultimately end his career.

The 2.3 metres (seven-foot six-inch) Yao missed all of last season after a fractured bone in his left foot required surgery and has played in only five of his team's 35 games this season.

Chinese interest in the NBA soared after Yao was selected first overall by the Rockets in the 2002 draft.