HOUSTON – Yao Ming, who missed all last season after foot surgery, will pick up his player option with the Houston Rockets, a decision that will keep the Chinese center from testing free agency.
The seven-times NBA All-Star, who could have become a free agent on July 1, said his foot was improving daily and that he would be ready to compete when training camp begins.
"I've never been in this situation before," Yao said in a video on the team's website (www.nba.com/rockets/) on Tuesday. "I decided a couple of days ago, and I think there is no-one better than the Rockets now."
The seven-foot six-inch Yao, drafted first overall by the Rockets in 2002, has been sidelined since having surgery on a hairline facture in his left foot last July.