Oft-injured Houston Rockets center Yao Ming has informed the NBA he has retired after eight seasons in the league. Yahoo! Sports first reported the news.

The top pick in the 2002 draft was an eight-time all-star, despite averaging just 48 games in each of the last five seasons. Yao appeared in only five games during the 2010-11 season after suffering a stress fracture in his left leg Nov. 10.

Yao, who was set to become a free agent once the NBA lockout ends, had previously stated his intentions to keep playing. The 7-foot-6, 310-pound native of China averaged 19 points and 9.3 rebounds per game over his career.

[Yahoo! Sports]