Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  23 responses

Yao Ming Feeling Healthy Again

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Yao Ming is a much happier man these days than he’s been over the past year. He has a sunnier outlook on his future these days, and the press in Houston seems to be buying in, too.

Doctors have cleared Yao for all basketball-related activities, and the big fella sounds optimistic about the upcoming season. The Houston Chronicle reports:

“That’s just the confidence (issue),” Yao, 29, said. “I still need to work on that. Compared to two months ago, it’s already a lot better. Two weeks ago, I could not even take off off my left foot. That thing, it’s in my head.”

The next step in Yao’s return to the court — removing those doubts — should be much easier to overcome than all those steps covered. Monday, he cleared perhaps the most important hurdle. An examination by Dr. Tom Clanton revealed that the hairline fracture in Yao’s left foot had healed, clearing him to work through full-contact workouts toward full scrimmages by the start of practices Sept. 25.

“I’m pretty confident,” Yao, 7-6, said when asked if he thought he would be the player he had been. “We just need to build on it every day. I’d like to be like Big Zeke (Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who played nine years in Cleveland after similar surgery.) I’m wishing, wishing long career, same city.”

Now, I’m not sure Big Z is the guy Rockets fans want to hear their franchise player aspire to be like, but it’s certainly better than moping about the possibility of retiring soon.

So, yeah. They’ve got that going for them.

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  • Groves

    good on you yao

  • Ronald

    I hope his foot lasts the whole season. I remember watching him basically breaking his foot against the Lakers and playing with extreme pain.

  • Tupack Shakur

    This is nothing but good news. So happy for Yao to hopefully get back to form.

  • http://thosefishtacosarethetits.blogspot.com Boston_Blogg3r

    The NBA is a much better league when Yao Ming is a part of it. Welcome back, big man. May the rest of your career be fruitful and prosperous. You deserve it.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    It will be interesting to see what happens to the Rockets team basketball mentality with a legit superstar back on the roster.

  • Yesse

    Sounds great. I’m happy for Yao and hope to see him back on the court soon.

  • Ali

    Nice to hear! To bad everytime we think the Rockets are building to get back into serious contention in the west, management blows their team up. They need some stability and healthy Yao.

  • MikeC.

    The Rockets almost need to build their team as if Yao isn’t going to be there. It must be such a gut-punch when he goes out.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Big Zeke is my favorite baller.

  • The Philosopher

    That man is so classy.

  • wilz

    we missed u yao

  • dsleepy21

    is big zeke a cross between Z.Ilgauskas and Dikembe (Deke) with a little bit of Isiah Thomas?

  • vtrobot

    his health will probably prevent it, but i hope we have another 5+ years of yao in the league. those feet must take a beating. good luck, yao.

  • RV

    Ali, what are you talking about? the rockets have only “blown up” their team when needed. That’s pretty much has been only twice in almost a decade and both times the moves were for the better of the team.

  • Coney Islander

    @ The Philosopher, COSIGNED!

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    EAT THE HEAD!!! (it never gets old)..

  • Jose

    Be Like Big Zeke…So is Yao Coming to South Beach too?! nice…haha

  • total scrotal implosion

    Happy birthday kenny

  • http://www.shawnkemp.com Masr

    I really wish Yao has a succesful season this year and no injuries come up again.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Not buying it, he will be hurt sometime in this year.

  • JTaylor21

    5times the offensive player than DHow can ever be. A 6-11 270 pound athletic demon only avgs. 18/14, WOW what a waste of talent.

  • Ronald

    @Seed, I do hope you are wrong. And, seeing how you’re inclined to believe that Bynum will be healthy, I don’t see how you can’t have faith in Yao staying healthy for a season.

  • Chip

    Yao will never again be a dominant force in the NBA
    He may have some impact in some games but he will never be healthy again. The Rockets need to be shopping for a big man.