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Recovering Yao Ming still won’t play

HOUSTON — Encouraged by progress in his recovery from major foot surgery, Yao Ming said Wednesday he will return to action — just not next season.

‘‘The (X-ray) picture looks good. The bones heal well,’’ he said in an interview with Houston television station KRIV.

He also said, however, that there is no chance that he will play in the 2009-10 NBA season.

‘‘The answer is no. You don’t want to rush it, because they want it to totally heal this time. I have been in this situation enough,’’ he said.

The 7-foot-6 center underwent surgery in May to repair a hairline fracture in his left foot suffered late in a May 8 playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers.