Yao Ming hopes to be back, ideally with Rockets

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His body keeps betraying him, but nobody can question Yao Ming’s desire or love of the game.

In a couple of months, doctors will be able to tell Yao if his surgically-repaired ankle would be up to the rigors of playing in the NBA — or anywhere else — ever again. A recent MRI showed improvement on the stress fracture that came after he played five games last season, he told the Houston Chronicle.

He added that if he does play again he wants it to be in Houston.

“I’d like to be here,” Yao said Thursday during an appearance at Hunters Creek Elementary School in west Houston. “Nowhere else is better than Houston for me right now.”

Yao will be a free agent this summer. By the time the lockout ends we should all have a pretty good idea if Yao can ever play again.

If so, expect the Rockets to sign him. Not for a huge deal, but both sides would like to keep this relationship going. Even if it will never be quite the same.