Report: Veteran Rockets center Yao Ming retiring

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HOUSTON (AP) -- Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Yao Ming is retiring from basketball.

The 7-foot-6 Houston Rockets center, plagued by lower-body injuries in the second half of his career, has informed the league office that his playing career is over, the website reported.

The Rockets have no comment on the report because of the lockout, and the NBA has not received official retirement paperwork from Yao.

Yao's contract expired after last season, and the Rockets said they were interested in re-signing him if he came back healthy. Yao said in April that his professional future depended on his recovery from a stress fracture in his left ankle.