Especially his big toe. The center from Shanghai had one of his big toenails removed yesterday. This is the third nail he’s had removed since July 2004, one of which turned into an infection and required surgery and caused him to miss 21 games last season. After this most recent removal, Yao will be on the shelf for at least another week.
Yao went through four practices before missing the last three in Austin last week. He developed bleeding under the nail which was drained. Although he was not in any pain, because the nail was certain to fall off, the decision was made to remove it on Monday and then shape it as it grows back to try to avoid the problem.
Shape it? That sounds pleasant.
While we are just talking toenails here, Van Gundy’s response makes us wonder if we should knock Yao down a few notches on our fantasy basketball draft chart:
Including the time Yao already missed, he likely will have been off the court for two weeks and will have missed four preseason games when he returns and begins working to get in shape.
“That has a big impact on Yao, a huge impact on Yao,” Van Gundy said. “We’re hoping for the best, certainly. But anyone who is not concerned, anyone who does not have their antenna up, is not seeing the totality of the problem, clearly.”
Meanwhile, in other reaally-tall-guys-from-China news, Reuters has the latest on 7-foot-9 Sun Ming Ming.
Photo from london-se1.co.uk. Word of warning: Expect lots of ugly images if you do a Google image search for “big toe.”