Houston fans can sum up Yao Ming's career in one word: Yaoch.
From the moment he first set foot on American soil in 2002, the 7'6" center has been at the mercy of a heavy frame and glass feet. They seem to break easier than a fortune cookie in a swimming pool.
Yao missed the 2009-2010 season with a stress fracture in his left foot. He decided to try the same operation that saved Zydrunas Ilgauskas from a premature retirement. Doctors placed screws in Yao's foot to help strengthen the cracked bone.
He sparked a media frenzy when he told Chinese state media that he would retire if the injury failed to heal. He was trying, as usual, to get China's hoops leaders to script a life without him. He plans to retire from international competition and wants the people in his nation to know he's serious.
The Rockets expect him to be ready for 2010 training camp. That hope, however, cannot soothe the malady that has marred Yao's battered career.
If Yao is a slam dunk choice for an all-time injured NBA players list, here are nine others who brought the pain to their many franchises, fans and themselves.
Writer's notes: this list (not a ranking) is not all inclusive. If you think I missed someone, tell me who below.
Given their relative youth and more chances to prove they can stay healthy, I excluded Greg Oden, Blake Griffin, and Andrew Bynum from the conversation. Also, since Drazen Petrovic and Len Bias' careers were cut short by death, I thought it would be too insensitive to mention them in the same piece as Tracy McGrady.