Chinese National Basketball Association All-Star center Yao Ming will be on the sidelines for several games because of a sore right big toe.

The Houston Rockets star missed his first game of the season and the third of his NBA career on Sunday. Team officials say the injury will keep Yao off the court indefinitely. The 25-year-old center has played in 266 regular-season games since joining the Rockets in 2002.

He has had a problem with his toe for some time, forcing him to miss two pre-season games. Yao is the leading vote-getter after the first set of returns for this season's All-Star game. He is averaging 19.9 points per game, nine rebounds and 1.36 blocked shots.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.