Rockets: Yao To Play Limited Time

The NBA will see Chinese star Yao Ming back in action this season, but only for limited minutes, at least if the Houston Rockets can help it.

Rockets athletic trainer Keith Jones said in an interview that Yao will be on the floor no more than 24 minutes a night in order to protect the prized center’s vulnerable left foot. “Twenty-four is his number all year,” Jones said. “We’re trying to get him through April. We’re trying to give him the best chance to play the whole season by limiting stress.” However, Jones said that things could change if the Rockets reach the playoffs.

Yao missed the whole of last season due to fractured bone in his left foot. He had the foot repaired and has since then recovered. Jones said it could be a problem trying to hold Yao back. “Yao is his own worst enemy,” he said. “He’s going to feel good. He’s going to want to do more. He’s going to question us. He’s going to question the doctor. That’s Yao. He’s a competitor.”