HOUSTON, May 19 (UPI) -- Yao Ming, recovering from surgery to his ankle, said Thursday he hopes to stay with the Houston Rockets.
During a visit to a Houston elementary school, Yao said he appears to be making progress but will have a better idea in August of whether the operation was successful, the Houston Chronicle reported. He becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"I'd like to be here. Nowhere else is better than Houston for me right now," Yao said. "The only issue is my injury."
Team officials have also said they would like Yao to remain with the Rockets.
Yao, 30, was drafted by the Rockets in 2002 after playing for the Shanghai Sharks for five years. In recent seasons, he has had problems with injuries and only played in five games in the 2010-2011 season.