Yao Ming practices; sets Tuesday return

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming plans to return next week after missing nearly a month with a sprained ankle.

Yao practiced Wednesday and told reporters that Tuesday's game against the Detroit Pistons is his target date.

"I feel pretty active," he said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "We are scheduled [for] the Detroit game."

Yao was injured Nov. 10. His return to Wednesday's shootaround was his first on-court action since. He plans to practice Thursday as well.

"He went through the shootaround and did some things on the floor, which is a real positive sign," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said, according to the Chronicle. "That means he's going in the right direction. They gave him a hard time when he came on the floor, welcoming him back. It does help. They know he's closer."