HOUSTON, July 22 – Houston Rockets center Yao Ming underwent surgery on his broken left foot here Tuesday, an operation that the Chinese superstar center hopes will allow him to resume his NBA career in 2010.Rockets team phywsician Tom Clanton and doctor Bill McGarvey conducted the successful surgery to repair a broken bone at Memorial Hermann Hospital, grafting bone onto Yao’s tarsal navicular bone and realigning his foot.
"Everything went according to plan and we were able to achieve not only fixation of the broken bone but also realignment of the bones to improve the stress pattern on his foot," Clanton said in a statement.
"We expect him to be immobilized in a cast and using crutches for at least 6-8 weeks."
Yao, a seven-time NBA All-Star who has averaged 19.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in his NBA career, will spend the next several days hospitalized.
The 7-foot-6 center is not expected to be ready to return at any stage of the 2009-2010 campaign but is anticipated to be healthy for October training camp in 2010, when he is set to make 16 million dollars.
There were fears the injury, suffered in May 8 playoff game against the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, might end Yao’s career after there was no healing following rest.
Yao announced last Friday he would have the surgery and said that he was "optimistic about the future and I will return to playing basketball when my foot has fully healed."
Yao, who recently purchased his former Chinese club in Shanghai, has suffered injuries to his feet and legs in each of the past three seasons.