10:44am: The Heat won’t clear Bosh if there’s any risk at all to his health, as Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald hears (Twitter link). The statement Bosh released today came from a public relations firm that also represents Dwyane Wade and not from the Heat, Skolnick notes (Twitter links). The team has been prepared to make a statement for four weeks but has left the matter to Bosh, Skolnick adds.
10:17am: Chris Bosh has expressed his intention to return to play this season in a statement he released to media, according to Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). The Heat star said he’s no longer suffering from blood clots and that he continues to work with doctors.
“I remain positive that I will be able to return this season,” Bosh said in part (see the full statement here).
The Heat were reportedly pressuring Bosh to sit out the rest of the season, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports reported, though a team source who spoke with Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post denied that. Bosh’s maximum-salary contract calls for him to make more than $75.868MM over three seasons after this one, a massive investment for the team. He missed the second half of last season with blood clots in his lungs, but the problem this year was reportedly confined to his left calf.
Bosh has apparently held out hope of playing this season from the beginning of the issue last month, and he’s conveyed positive signals via social media even as he hasn’t spoken with reporters and the team has given little information about his health. He hasn’t played since February 9th, the Heat’s last game before the All-Star break, and he was a late scratch for the All-Star Game because of the clotting.
The return of Bosh would be a major boost to the Heat, who’ve gone 5-1 since buyout-market signee Joe Johnson made his debut February 28th. A lineup with both Bosh and Johnson would ostensibly make the Heat formidable contenders for the Eastern Conference title.