Wed Aug 25 10:30am EDT
Hey, who wants to get their smile on up in here? Everyone? Good. Watch this video.
Yep, that's the one and only Yao Ming(notes) sweating to the oldies in his first public workout since breaking his left foot into a million little pieces — no James Frey. And while it's good to see Yao moving, still having a soft jumper, and with his sense of humor intact, the really good stuff is that Yao has been cleared for all basketball activities by the Rockets team doctor and he's expecting to play in the team opener. Get your smiles ready because there's a happy-making Associated Press blockquote only a split-second away.
Houston Rockets All-Star center Yao Ming is confident that he'll be ready for the start of the regular season after a team doctor declared his surgically repaired foot fully healed.
Yao missed last season after undergoing complex surgery on his left foot in July 2009. Team doctor Tom Clanton has cleared Yao to resume basketball activities.
The Rockets had said all along that they expected Yao to play in 2010-11. Yao was still relieved when he got the official diagnosis.
"I am very excited," Yao said Tuesday. "I am just looking forward to playing a great season. I think I can count on my foot now." [...]
General manager Daryl Morey says the team will be cautious with Yao and limit his minutes early in the season. Morey said Clanton's diagnosis was a "key hurdle" in Yao's road back.
"It's great news," Morey said. "It's what we anticipated, but until you get over these milestones, you're never for sure. He looks like his old self. He still has a ways to go on his wind and things like that. But it's just good to see him out there."
Word to Daryl Morey because this really is great news, all around. Good for the Rockets since this makes them such a tough team. Good for Yao since he seems happy and confident in his recovery, which is a big change from his most recent comments. Good for us to get to see a talent like Yao on the court again. Heck, the limiting minutes part is even good since it means we'll get a whole lot of super fresh Brad Miller(notes) action to kick off the upcoming season. It's a real win-win-win-win situation.
Sure, there's no telling how effective Yao is going to be after a year away from competitive hoops, but right now that doesn't really matter. He's happy, has faith in his foot and — most important — is actually playing basketball again. That's party time, excellent if you ask me.
Video via Clutch Fans.