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Houston Rockets Center Yao Ming to Retire After Injury, Yahoo! Sports Says

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming will retire after nine injury-ridden seasons in the National Basketball Association, Yahoo! Sports reported.

Houston Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis didn’t immediately return calls left at his office. The Yahoo report didn’t cite a source for its information.

Yao, 30, played an important role in promoting the NBA in Asia when he joined the Rockets from China as the No. 1 pick in the 2002 draft. He hasn’t been able to recover from surgery in January to repair a stress fracture in his left foot, Yahoo said, and played in just five games during the 2010-11 season.

The 7-foot-6, 310-pound center will finish his career averaging 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots a game. He played in six All-Star Games.

To contact the reporter on this story: Curtis Eichelberger in Washington at ceichelberge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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