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Chinese star remains positive despite injury

HOUSTON Rockets center Yao Ming remained upbeat on Sunday despite being certain to miss the remainder of the National Basketball Association playoffs with a broken left foot.

"At least there is no new surgery, which is better than last year," a smiling Yao told a news conference before the Rockets stunned the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers 99-87 to tie their Western Conference semifinal series 2-2.

Yao needed surgery on the same foot in February 2008, sidelining him for the rest of the season. He recovered in time to play for host China at the Beijing Olympics.

"It's frustrating," said Yao. "But you have to be positive because it is already better than last year. It's already happened so I need to look forward and see what's the next step."

The Rockets team physician said on Saturday that Yao would require eight to 12 weeks to recover.

He was confident the Rockets could continue to play as a team, even without him. "I'm sorry for the team that I cannot play, but I have confidence in them. We understand that only the team can win the game, not a person, and no one is above this team."


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