Injuries to his feet have kept the one time cornerstone of the Rockets franchise out of all but five games total the last two seasons. He’s had a couple of major foot surgeries in the last two years. But he told reporters Thursday at the Rockets annual Tennies Charity Gala that he is not done (video at Rockets.com, via CBS’s Eye on Basketball).
“I’ve been doing well. Once in awhile, seeing the doctors, checking to see how things are going. I’m happy about the progress and [I’m going to] try to make it back. They think I need about another 10 weeks until I can start running on the court… At that time the foot will tell me how much I can get back.”
Yao admitted it is possible that his body will not allow him to come back.
“That’s a sad question, first of all. If there’s a possibility that I’m not going to come back to play, I’m going to tell myself I already did everything I can.”
Yao will be a free agent this summer, but said getting back playing is the priority, there where will sort itself out (although he later added he really likes living and playing in Houston).
“Right now it’s more focused on my injury. About the future, it all depends on this foot.”
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
Buddy Hield: Vivek Ranadive told me at Kings-Pelicans games, ‘We’re still going to get you’