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CBA to prepare for 2008 Olympics without Yao
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Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and China's men's basketball national team are ready to prepare for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games without injured Yao Ming, CBA and team leaders announced in Beijing on Wednesday.

"We were informed of Yao Ming's injury on midnight and had a meeting with the national team staff this morning. Jonas Kazlauskas (head coach of the national team) has already handed over two plans and two squads -- with or without Yao Ming, for the preparation of the 2008 Olympics," said Hu Jiashi, deputy chief of the China's Basketball Management Center.

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming was examined after Monday's practice at the Memorial Hermann Hospital and was declared as having a season-ending stress fracture in his left foot.

He did not play in Rockets' 94-69 victory over Washington Wizards on Tuesday, which extending their winning streak to 13 games.

Chinese national team leader Bai Xilin said Yao had a fracture on the scaphoid bone, which resulted from micro-cracks sustained during long-time practice and games.

Bayi confirmed that Yao would take a surgery on his left foot but gave no detailed schedule and recovering time, saying Yao needs another examination for the final determination.

The CBA received tons of faxes and calls were concerning on Yao's injury since the Rockets released the news on Tuesday, Bai said during the news conference, who also gave detailed schedule of the training and matches of the national team.

"Yao has vowed to play for the national team in the 2008 Olympics. We fully understand his feelings. His mission now is to take the surgery and recover quickly. We're waiting for him to come back for the Beijing Olympics," Bai said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2008)

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