Sunday , May , 10 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Yao Ming’s Season Finished after Foot Fracture Found

The news was devastatingly familiar, but the Rockets never saw it coming.

Hours after center Yao Ming was thought to have suffered only an ankle sprain and might be able to play Game 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers today at Toyota Center, a hairline fracture was found in his left foot, ending his season.

With that, a Rockets season that has gone further than any in 12 years was floored the same way as so many before.

With the latest injury, Yao, 28, has had four consecutive seasons interrupted or ended by fractures of bones in his left foot or right knee. Yao, who played in 77 regular-season games and nine playoff games this season, averaged 19.7 points and 9.9 rebounds and was averaging 17.1 points and 10.9 rebounds against the Lakers.