Rockets limit Yao's play time

Rockets center Yao Ming will be limited to playing no more than 24 minutes in each game next season as he returns from a foot injury, the team's athletic trainer said Thursday.

Keith Jones told the Houston Chronicle the time limit would be applied strictly and the 7-foot-6 Yao would skip a lot of practice sessions to limit the impact on his left foot.

"Twenty-four is his number all year," Jones said. "Playoffs come, things could change. We're trying to get him through April. We're trying to give him the best chance to play the whole season by limiting stress.

"Even practices, if we play on Monday and play again on Wednesday, can he practice on Tuesday? No. He'll practice, but he won't scrimmage," he said, referring to practice games.

•Felony marijuana charges were dropped against Heat forward Udonis Haslem, court records showed.

•The Magic signed free-agent forward Malik Allen, who spent last season with the Nuggets and appeared in 51 games, including three starts.

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