Wednesday , Feb , 27 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Houston Rockets Post Season Hopes Dead without Yao Ming

The Rockets’ Toyota Center practice court, filled with bustling, boisterous players minutes before, grew as quiet as a graveyard. With the team riding its longest winning streak since winning 15 straight to start the 1993-94 season that began their championship runs, coach Rick Adelman told his players that six-time All-Star center Yao Ming would be out for the rest of the season, including the playoffs if they get there, because of a stress fracture in his left foot. ‘It was dead quiet,’

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. ‘There was shock, total shock. Looks of disbelief.’ Yao, arguably the best center the NBA has to offer and a worldwide phenomenon thanks to his proud Chinese heritage, has developed microscopic cracks in the tarsal navicular bone — the bone that attaches the ankle to the mid-foot — in his left foot. With soreness lasting since the Feb. 17 All-Star Game, he had an MRI followed by CT scans on Monday that revealed the injury and changed the Rockets’ lives. Click here for more from the Houston Chronicle.