The majority of Chinese think NBA superstar Yao Ming’s career is over in the wake of his latest season-ending injury, according to results Monday from a Shanghai Daily poll.
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The Houston Rockets center Yao Ming was on Friday ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a stress fracture in his left ankle.
The announcement left many wondering whether the -foot-6 (230cm) center’s career could be over, with the typical recovery time to be 7-10 months after surgery is performed.
Yao, 30, has not yet decided whether he will undergo surgery.
The poll, which has been running since news of the injury first filtered through, gives readers four possible outcomes for Yao: he can recover; it’s over and he may have to retire; he will come back but never be as good; or he should return to China.
By Monday, 56 percent of respondents felt Yao’s career was finished, while 20 percent felt the seven-time All-Star would come back but not dominant like he has in the past.
Only 10 percent felt he could make a strong return.
The result follows a survey published Saturday on the website of leading Chinese sports newspaper Titan, in which 30 percent of those polled said it was time for Yao to hang up his trainers.
Yao missed all of last season after surgery to repair a separate broken bone in his left foot and said before this season he would strongly consider retiring if he could not stay healthy.
In 2007-08, Yao missed 27 games, and in 2006-07 he missed 34 games.
The native of Shanghai was the top overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.