Tuesday , Sep , 01 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Could Yao Ming Be Back Next Season?

Yao Ming’s return from foot surgery might come sooner than anyone expected.

In an interview with ESPN The Magazine’s Sam Alipour, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said Yao could return at some point in the 2009-10 season and the team no longer feels his broken left foot is a career-threatening injury.

"Yao Ming is progressing well. I don’t think that [a career-ending scenario] is something that will happen, based on what I’m hearing from the doctors," Morey told Alipour. "They do know that the bone will heal and he’ll get back on it. And they have not actually ruled out [his return] this season. I think that’s less likely than likely, but they haven’t ruled it out.

"And next season, the outlook is very good. He just took off the cast for a short period [two weeks ago], so the doctors could examine it, and everything is going well. Everything is on track."