“Growing optimism” is surrounding Chris Bosh‘s quest to return to the court, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. A source from the players union says there is reason to believe the Heat will clear Bosh to play while taking blood thinners, and Jackson adds that it would be a surprise if Bosh doesn’t receive medical clearance as long as there are no setbacks.
Bosh, who has been sidelined by blood clots during the past two seasons, hasn’t played since the All-Star break in February, when doctors discovered clotting in his leg. He had hoped to return for the playoffs and had considered filing a grievance against the Heat, but he and the team agreed to work things out over the offseason.
Bosh believes he can play while taking a new type of blood thinner that only stays in his system for about eight hours. The Heat have been opposed to that idea, but their stance appears to be softening. Playing contact sports while on blood thinners is considered risky because it creates a possibility of heavy bleeding.
It’s possible that Bosh may be placed on a maintenance program with a reduced workload, such as having a restricted travel schedule or not playing in back-to-back games. Team president Pat Riley mentioned that as a possibility in a July press conference where he promised the Heat would work with Bosh to find a way to get him back on the court.
Bosh was limited to 53 games last season, but averaged 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per night and made the All-Star team for the 11th straight year. He still has three seasons and nearly $75.9MM left on his current contract. The Heat would have an opportunity to take the last two years of that salary off their cap if Bosh goes a full year without playing.