This one is obvious since there are only so many people who are anxious to see the seven-time All-Star center return to the court after spending time away for injuries to his left foot.
His minutes will be limited—as the Rockets already installed a backup in Brad Miller—since it’s going to take time for him to get back in the groove, both physically and mentally.
All injury talk aside, Yao’s initial years were impressive in the progress department.
Yao finished his rookie season averaging 13.5 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game, and was second in the NBA Rookie of the Year Award voting to Amar'e Stoudemire.
In his second season, Yao averaged career highs in points and rebounds for the season and had a career-high 41 points and seven assists in a triple-overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks in February 2004.
Yao finished the season averaging 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds a game.
Although they were eliminated in the first round by the Lakers, Yao also averaged 15.0 points and 7.4 rebounds in his first playoff series.