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McGrady out for the season

HOUSTON Rockets star Tracy McGrady will have surgery on his left knee and miss the rest of the National Basketball Association season.

The star forward said on his Website on Wednesday that the pain has been persistent and he will have microfracture surgery immediately. He's confident he'll return next season.

McGrady was Houston's third-leading scorer. He had arthroscopic surgery in May and has missed 18 games this season because of his sore knee.

He said last week that he wanted to consult with doctors before deciding on the best course of treatment.

Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis said the team had no comment.

"It has been extremely frustrating dealing with the knee injury this season," McGrady said. "It's been tough on me both physically and mentally and while we've come to this conclusion after much deliberation, we truly feel this is best for both me and the Rockets in the long term."

The Rockets have won their last two games without McGrady and 13 of 19 without him this season. Houston was 33-21 overall this season and in fifth place in the Western Conference.

Houston acquired McGrady in June 2004 in a trade with the Orlando Magic, but the seven-time All-Star has been a disappointment here in four seasons. His scoring numbers have steadily decreased while his health issues have increased.

McGrady missed 34 games in 2005-06 and 10 in 2006-07 with back pain, then sat out 12 games last season with a bone bruise and tendinitis in his left knee, prompting him to have the procedure in May.

McGrady, who averages 15.6 points, five assists, and 4.40 rebounds this season, was due to make US$23 million next season, the last year of his contract. Considering the expectations, he's been a bust in Houston as the Rockets have gone winless in three playoff series.

But team owner Les Alexander said on Tuesday the Rockets would not try to deal McGrady before today's trade deadline. Alexander also said he still believes the 29-year-old McGrady was a key component to making the Rockets contenders again.

McGrady has averaged 22.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists over his career.


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