Rockets center Yao Ming said Monday he not only feels he is ready to play, but he makes that point every day. Yao has not been cleared to rejoin the team’s workouts since his Nov. 10 ankle injury because team doctors want him to strengthen the muscles in his left ankle weakened by being out so long.
“I’m waiting for the green light,” Yao said. “When? I don’t know. I feel better. It still has some weakness. I’m just not ready to sit out for almost 20 games, particularly when I feel I’m OK. I know when I was in the walking boot, on the crutches, OK, I understand.
“I won’t push the trainer or the doctor. They all try to treat me the best that they can. It’s not something like that. I know they try to find the best way for me to get back on the court.”
Yao would not say if he would be playing if it was his decision, but when asked if he has said how he feels, he laughed and said, “I tell them every day.”
Rockets coach Rick Adelman said he has not been given an estimate about when Yao will be cleared to practice.
Brooks practices but won’t play Tuesday
Rockets guard Aaron Brooks went through about 75 percent of Monday’s practice, but will not be activated from the inactive list for Tuesday’s game against the Kings.
“He practiced, which is a good sign,” Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. “He went through about three-quarters of it. He moved OK, but he’s still a ways away. We’ll see how he responds to practicing today and see how he feels tomorrow.”
The Rockets will not have another practice until Saturday.
‘Other guys get to dribble now’
With Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans out, Rockets guard Kevin Martin warned that some of his former Kings teammates could respond to the opportunity, especially for his friend Francisco Garcia.
“When the star player goes out, they saw last year, they can turn it around,” Martin said. “Other guys, they get a big smile on their face to see what they can do with the number of shots that will be given to them now, and just the opportunity they’re going to have with the ball since their player, he likes dribble. Other guys get to dribble now.”
Martin said there is nothing special about playing his former team because he had his first game against the Kings and his first game in Sacramento since the trade last season, scoring 39 points in Arco Arena.
“I didn’t need to go in there to score that many points against them last year to build confidence going against the Kings,” Martin said. “I just treat it as another team, another game.
“Last year, I played them twice after I got traded. It’s just another game. We’re heading in the right path. That’s the main thing.”