MIAMI — Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat is dealing with another blood-clot scare, making this the second consecutive year that he’s spent the All-Star break facing a most uncertain future because of a health issue.
Bosh will spend "the next few days" reviewing options and no determination will be made about his playing status until he goes through more tests and evaluation, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Monday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the All-Star forward nor the Heat have revealed the concerns publicly.
Bosh is Miami’s leading scorer at 19.1 points per game this season. He said over the weekend in Toronto that he was optimistic about playing again this season.
Bosh pulled out of the All-Star Game and the 3-point contest over the weekend because of what he and the Heat described as a calf strain. He was shut down at the All-Star break last season because a blood clot had found its way to one of his lungs, and that issue is something that Bosh believes started as a calf problem.
He went to Toronto expecting to participate in All-Star weekend, then was examined there — presumably because of the calf pain — and the NBA subsequently announced on Friday afternoon that Bosh was withdrawing from the game and the 3-point event. Bosh remained in Toronto to cheer on his Eastern Conference teammates, then returned to Miami and met with team medical personnel Monday.
"The biggest thing is his health," Heat teammate Dwyane Wade said Saturday in Toronto, when the speculation was that Bosh was only dealing with a strain. "All in all, as I said last year, it’s bigger than basketball. It’s about his family and he has to make sure he does everything right. I want to make sure that he’s doing whatever he needs to do to be healthy and get back on the basketball court whenever he’s ready."
The fact that Bosh remained in Toronto, and was active over the course of the weekend, suggests he’s at least optimistic that the problem — whether it’s a clot or not — can be managed. He was on the bench for the All-Star Game, was in uniform for the team photo session pregame, accompanied Wade to a dinner that honoured Kobe Bryant on Saturday night and moved around without any obvious difficulty.
Last year, that wasn’t the case.
"I couldn’t walk anywhere," Bosh said in September, describing how the clot affected him. "I was in too much pain."
Bosh has taken precautions over the last year to try and prevent the recurrence of a clot, including partnering with Janssen Pharmaceuticals — the maker of the commonly used blood thinner Xarelto — to educate people about the risks. After the clot last season was found, Bosh started taking that blood thinner for several months as part of his recovery.
Athletes in contact sports typically cannot play while taking blood thinners.