- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston Rockets center Yao Ming was back in the lineup on Monday night after sitting out the last game with a sore right foot.

The 7-foot-6 Yao was due to make his 76th start of the season against New Orleans, the most games he’s played since 2004-05.

Last season, Yao missed the final 26 regular-season games and the playoffs with a broken left foot. In 2006-07, he missed 32 games with a broken right leg and in 2005-06, he sat out the playoffs with another broken bone in his left foot.

The Rockets came in holding the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, but with the same record as San Antonio and Portland. Coach Rick Adelman said he never considered keeping Yao out of Monday’s game or Wednesday’s regular-season finale in Dallas because the injury was so minor.

“He seems to be fine,” Adelman said. “We thought it wasn’t going to be anything and fortunately, it wasn’t. If it was something where they thought it would help (to rest), then that would’ve been a different story. But no one was concerned about it.”

Hornets coach Byron Scott, meanwhile, was being more cautious with Tyson Chandler, who’s been out since March 16 with inflammation in his left ankle. Chandler was out of Monday’s game and Scott was hoping he could play 20-25 minutes in Wednesday’s regular-season finale against San Antonio.

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