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Chinese basketball star may have bone cancer
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A promising Shanghai basketball player who plays on the national team may not be able to compete in the Olympic Games because he was diagnosed with potential bone cancer in his left leg, according to media reports.

Doctors have said Xu Yong, the 19-year-old forward for Shanghai Xiyang of the China Basketball Association, has a 70 percent possibility of having bone cancer in his left leg, the Beijing-based Modern Express said, citing Li Qiuping, chief coach of Shanghai Xiyang.

Xu's condition will be diagnosed in about a week to 10 days, said Li.

Xu received a second exam on his left femur at Ruijin Hospital in Luwan District on Saturday. A doctor said his condition was "not positive," said Li.

"Xu's current condition was not so good and all of us wish that he will recover," Li added.

Xu said yesterday that he did not want to talk about his condition during a telephone interview with Xinmin Evening News, the report said.

"Thanks for all of the concern, and I believe I will recover from the illness soon," Xu told the newspaper.

Xu is two-meters tall and is considered one of the most promising basketball players in the country. He joined the CBA last year and averaged 18.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assist per game during the season.

Xu was the top rookie last season, Xinmin Evening News said, citing his coaches.

Xu became famous in February 2007 after he won the "dunking king" title at the CBA's 2006-2007 All-Star Game. His powerful dunk in the final received full marks from the judges.

Bone cancer can be fatal because it can easily spread to the lungs and other organs.

Patients only have a five to 20 percent chance to survive for more than five years after a cancerous limb has been amputated.

Xu initially went to hospital for an exam on his knee after being selected to the national team last month. Doctors found a tumor on his left femur.

(Shanghai Daily April 15, 2008)


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