Houston C Yao fractures knee, to miss at least six weeks

Dec 24, 2006 - 5:04 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets have learned to play without a superstar this season. Now they will be missing two.

Rockets center Yao Ming left Saturday's 98-93 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with a right knee injury. Team officials originally thought the 7-5 All-Star suffered a bone bruise, but an MRI uncovered a small fracture of a bone on the front of his knee. He will be out at least six weeks.

Yao appeared to hurt his knee attempting to block a shot by the Clippers' Tim Thomas with 6:17 remaining in the opening quarter. He immediately grabbed for his knee, screaming for assistance, but limped off the court with help from teammates.

Yao has put together his best season to date, averaging a career-high 26.8 points and 9.7 rebounds in 26 games. He has reached the 30-point plateau nine times this campaign.

Houston is already playing without superstar swingman Tracy McGrady, who has missed seven straight games with recurring back spasms.

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