Yao Ming Almost Ready To Return

Rockets center Yao Ming attended Thursday’s shootaround, giving him, he said, another chance to get used to the knee brace he will wear on his right knee and to brush up on the Rockets’ sets.

“The knee is pretty heavy with the brace on there,” Yao said. “I need to adjust to it, try to get back and relearn the game plan after missing eight weeks.

“I think (the biggest obstactle) is conditioning. It’s about feel. I believe (attending shootarounds) will be helpful. The last two years, I had a lot of experience (coming back from injuries.)”

Yao has said he hoped to be cleared to practice by the end of the month and to play about 10 days later. He has been permitted to do “straight-ahead” conditioning and listed “shooting, post moves and learning on tape” as his current regimen. He has not been cleared for any side-to-side movement.

Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said on Tuesday that he believes when Yao is medically cleared to practice, he should be cleared to play, too.

Houston Chronicle