BEIJING (AP) — Yao Ming’s message to his Chinese fans was clear: He plans to play in the Beijing Olympics.
In a letter published Friday in Chinese-language newspapers, the Houston Rockets star assured fans that his operation Monday to repair a stress fracture in his left foot was successful and he’ll be fit to play in August despite missing the rest of the NBA season.
“My injury has made many of you worried and you expressed your concern and sympathy in many ways,” Yao wrote. “You have always supported me and encouraged me at the lowest point of my career. And now I want to say thank you for your care and support.”
Yao thanked officials from the Chinese Basketball Administration, family and teammates. He promised a quick return, which his doctors have said is likely. He’s expected to need four months to heal.
“The surgery was very successful and I’ll start physical recovery very soon,” he wrote. “I’ll do whatever I can to overcome the difficulty and play for China in Olympics and be in my best form.
“I’ll see you in the Olympics. Thanks, everybody.”