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Three-pointer: Yao operation proves success

CHINESE basketball star Yao Ming has undergone successful surgery on his broken left foot in Texas, according to the official Website of National Basketball Association of the United States.

The operation was performed by Dr Tom Clanton, the Houston Rockets' team physician, on Tuesday morning Texas time in the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute in Houston, the Website said.

A bone graft was implanted in the tarsal navicular bone of Yao's foot. The realignment of the bones lowered the foot arch to reduce stress and avoid a recurrence of the injury, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"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.

"Yao is doing well and resting comfortably after these procedures. We expect him to be immobilized in a cast and using crutches for at least six to eight weeks."

The Rockets said they expected Yao to participate in the 2010 training camp but did not provide any timetable for his return to action.

This means Yao, Shanghai's favorite sporting son, is expected to miss the whole of the 2009-10 NBA season.

However, the possibility of Yao playing during off-season games next year is unknown.

"It all depends on the recovery," said Lu Hao, an executive at Team Yao. "It is too early to make a judgment."

Last week NBA China ( said Yao would make a comeback next March if everything went smoothly.

"Our expectation now is the same as last week," Lu told Shanghai Daily.

Last week Yao expressed optimism over the surgery and vowed to come back as he ended widespread retirement rumors.

The seven-time All Star has been hit by injuries in recent years. He had four operations and missed 92 games in the past four seasons.

Yao earlier this month bought his former team, Shanghai Sharks.

Yao, 28, averaged 19.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game last season.

He had planned to participate in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders camp for young Asian players in Beijing next week but was not on the player list issued by NBA China on Tuesday.


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