China's NBA star Yao Ming is keen to play for his country at next year's World Basketball Championships in Turkey if he gets approval from his doctor.
China's most popular sportsman had surgery on a hairline fracture to his left foot in July and is almost certain to miss all of the current NBA season.
His inclusion in the squad for the world championship, staring late August next year, would be a major boost to a China team that has struggled without him.
Some commentators have blamed Yao's frequent injuries on the stress to his body brought about by playing both in the NBA and for his country.
Yao recently bought his Chinese home club, the Shanghai Sharks.