Yao wants to stay with Rockets

Yao Ming says his surgically repaired left ankle is healing

properly and he would like to remain with the Houston Rockets.

Yao said Thursday that he won’t know until later this summer if

he’ll be able to play next season. He becomes a restricted free

agent July 1.

A stress fracture in the ankle kept Yao out of all but five

games last season and he had surgery in January.

Yao spoke during a visit to a Houston elementary school. He

answered questions in English, and taught the children to say

”good morning” in his native Chinese.