by Ryne Nelson

Don’t worry Rockets fans, your built-in ‘injury’ excuse is still in place—Tracy McGrady will be out three weeks with a sore left knee.

The Houston Chronicle has the report (I totally didn’t see this one coming):

Tracy McGrady said he will be out of the Rockets’ lineup for another three weeks as he works on rehabilitating his sore left knee, which underwent arthroscopic surgery and has been a problem all season.

“Probably about three weeks,” McGrady said following Tuesday’s workout on the Toyota Center practice court. “Obviously, I came back a little bit too early. My knee is still healing and it’s not ready.”

It’s worth noting doctors initially told McGrady he should play to strengthen his knee after surgery. As reported yesterday:

Rockets doctors have said the 6-8 McGrady can best get back to full strength by playing. McGrady had surgery May 6 to remove loose particles in his left knee, missed most of training camp and the preseason, and has struggled.

So McGrady played the first 15 games and ended up hurting worse? Nice.

Mac missed the Rockets’ last three games, and Houston lost two of them. Now, if they want to remain elite, all the burden is on Yao’s shoulder.

Who would have guessed it?