Rockets center Yao Ming has a mild left ankle sprain and is expected to be out at least a week, the NBA team said.
Yao was hurt in the first quarter of Houston's 98-91 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.
An MRI exam on Thursday confirmed the injury. While the Rockets finish up their road trip, China's Yao will return to Houston to begin rehabilitation.
The Rockets have limited Yao's minutes this season after he missed all of last season in the wake of surgery to repair a broken left foot.
The seven-time All-Star is averaging 10.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while averaging 18.2 minutes a game for the struggling Rockets, who have won just one of their seven games.