Chinese center Yao Ming has undergone successful surgery to repair the left foot fracture that has ruled him out for the whole of the next NBA season.
|Yao's left foot looks all innocent two days before the injury in May [GALLO/GETTY]
The operation at the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute also included additional procedures to "change the alignment of his foot" and prevent the injury recurring, said a report on the Houston Rockets website.
The seven-times All Star has been blighted by injuries in recent years, the latest of which – described by team doctor Tom Clanton as "career threatening" – occurred during the Western Conference semi-finals against the LA Lakers on May 8.
"Everything went according to plan and we were able achieve not only fixation of the broken bone but also realignment of the bones to improve the stress pattern on his foot," Clanton said.
"Yao is doing well and resting comfortably after these procedures. We expect him to be immobilised in a cast and using crutches for at least 6-8 weeks."
The Rockets said last week that the 28-year-old Yao, who averaged 19.7 points per game and 9.9 rebounds last season, would sit out the entire 2009/10 season to allow his full recuperation.
The 7ft 6in (2.286m) Shanghainese is China's most popular sportsman and topped the most recent Forbes China list of entertainers with an estimated income of $52.27million.
Yao had been scheduled to take part in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders camp for young Asian players in Beijing next week but was absent from the list of participants issued by NBA China on Tuesday.