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Yao almost ready to return. Rockets miss his presence Friday in loss to T-wolves

January 27th, 2006
by John
Yao gets in a workout before Friday's game against the Timberwolves.  Although Yao didn't play in the game, he is expected to be back in action around the middle of next week.Yao gets in a workout before Friday’s game against the Timberwolves. Although Yao didn’t play in the game, he is expected to be back in action around the middle of next week. For more photos from Yao’s workout, click here.

by John

FRIDAY, 1/27/05 – It looks like we’re only a few days away from Yao being back! Yao, who has missed 18 games since having toe surgery on December 19th, said on Friday, “Everything is going well. I’m getting close.”

Too bad he wasn’t in the lineup against the Timberwolves on Friday night. After winning 3 of their last 4 games, it looked like the Rockets may have righted the ship and were ready to put some of their miseries behind them. They had good chances to beat Minnesota, but the T-wolves’ trade for Ricky Davis really paid off.

Davis, who was traded from Boston yesterday in an exchange involving several players, didn’t need any time at all to get acclimated to his new team, scoring 26 points to equal Kevin Garnett‘s 26.

On the other side, T-Mac ‘only’ scored 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting. Who knows, he might have been bothered by a plastic mask he wore after getting hit in the nose after his last game [click here to see photos of the scary-looking thing.] David Wesley and Rafer Alston both shot only 6-of-15, dragging down the Rockets’ field goal percentage to 40% while Minnesota hit a sizzling 49%.

I won’t go into the details since a loss is a loss. But you can read more about the Rockets’ missed chances by clicking here.

On the bright side, Stromile Swift came back from a 9-game absence (because of pink eye) and played well, scoring 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Chuck Hayes continues to show he is NBA material, scoring 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting, and grabbing 7 boards in 27 minutes.

The Rockets next play Miami on Sunday where they will need all the rebounding help they can get against Shaq and the boys.

John
john@YaoMingFanClub.com

To see the boxscore from the game, click here.

To read the Houston Chronicle’s article about the game, click here.