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(via chron.com)

As great as the collection of free-agent talent to hit the market Wednesday night might be, it will lack a 7-foot-6 center.

Rockets center Yao Ming will announce today that he has decided to complete the final season of his contract rather than to exercise his right to opt out of the contract to become a free agent this week.

“I think I’m going to wait (to become a free agent) because of my injury,” Yao said. “I miss one year. It’s a long time. I’ve never been through this situation before. I’m going to get as (much information) as I possibly can about my foot and see what is best for me and for Rockets.

“A couple days ago, I think there is nowhere better than Rockets now.”

Yao would not say if he ever got close to choosing to become a free agent.

“I’m not considering that anymore,” he said. “That’s most important.”

Asked again if it had been possible that he would test the free-agent market, he again said only, “Not anymore.”

Yao, who will earn $17.7 million next season, sat out all of last season while rehabilitating his left foot after extensive surgery last summer.

“The foot feels OK,” Yao said. “Everything is positive. We’re looking at it. Day by day, week by week, I can feel it is getting stronger.”

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