Yao Ming underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone in his left foot, the Associated Press reports.
The Rockets’ center is expected to miss the 2009-10 campaign, but should be ready to play by next summer.
"Everything went according to plan, and we were able to achieve not only fixation of the broken bone but also realignment of the bones to improve the stress pattern on his foot," Dr. Tom Clanton said in a statement. "We expect him to be immobilized in a cast and using crutches for at least 6-8 weeks."
Yao is set to make over $16 million this season, with a $17 million player option for 2010-11. If he chooses to opt out – which is unlikely, given his health – he would join the long list of free agents, including teammate Tracy McGrady, who are scheduled to hit the market next summer.