The Miami Heat will not allow Chris Bosh to return for training camp after failing a preseason physical with no timetable set for his return. The team made the announcement on Friday, which now casts a heavy cloud on the All Star forward's future.
"The Miami Heat and Chris Bosh, in consultation with team doctors and other physicians, have been working together for many months with the mutual goal of having Chris return to the court as soon as possible," the team's statement said. "Chris has now taken his preseason physical. The Miami Heat regret that it remains unable to clear Chris to return to basketball activities."
This is a pretty huge setback for the 11-time All Star, who wants to continue playing even though his past two seasons have each been cut short because of blood clots. According to a report from the Miami Herald, this latest setback for Bosh is believed to be related to his previous issues with blood clots.
It looked like Bosh was well on his way to making his comeback this season. Earlier this month, Bosh appeared on an episode of Uninterrupted's Open Run Podcast and said that "he's ready to play."
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, seem to disagree with him.
Bosh has had to go through a series of medical tests in the last few days, and the results were not enough to convince the team that he was indeed ready to come back. The Heat will host their media day on Monday and then begin training camp on Tuesday in the Bahamas. It is not yet known if Bosh will be present for both of these events.
Dwyane Wade, Bosh's former teammate who is now with the Chicago Bulls, said that while he still supports him, he has some reservations about wanting him to make a comeback.
"I wouldn't be a friend if I didn't express to him my concerns", Wade told the Associated Press. "To me, the biggest thing is Chris has five kids and a wife, and a family that depends on him being there. To me, that's always important. I told him, 'Make sure you focus on that first.'"
Bosh is still owed nearly $76 million for the final three seasons of his contract. Even if he were unable to resume his career, the remaining amount of money on his contract is guaranteed. However, there are loopholes in the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement that would allow the Heat to remove Bosh's salary from its cap number sometime next year if he is unable to continue his playing career.
Bosh has expressed some certain levels of frustration with the team's doctors saying that they work only for the organization and not the players. He said doctors told him this past February that his career was most likely over after experiencing a second episode of blood clot complications in his calf. Even though the complications are not considered to be life-threatening as long as they are treated, they will require constant medication and trying to play with it would be unrealistic.
It is unclear if Bosh is on blood thinners, and if he is, what kind of regimen he is following. Last week, Bosh stated that he was following a regimen that is similar to the one being used by NHL forward Tomas Fleischmann, who has been playing the last several seasons while on blood thinners - which is something that athletes who play contact sports are usually told is a huge risk.
Fleischmann takes his blood thinners via injection during the season and has to use exact amounts so that it will not affect his bloodstream whenever he is playing or practicing. Bosh, on the other hand, has not made it clear if he is on blood thinners and if he has any plans of playing basketball while he is on the drug in any form.
Bosh is the only remaining member of the Miami "Big Three," which consisted of himself, Lebron James, and Dwyane Wade. The Big Three helped turn the Heat into an Eastern Conference powerhouse that went to four straight NBA Finals, winning two of them in 2012 and 2013.
His first bout with blood clot complications occurred in February 2015 when a clot that was believed to have formed in one of his legs traveled all the way up to his lungs and caused complications that were so severe that he had to stay in the hospital for several days. He was able to recover and had averages of 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds last season before the second and most recent clot episode took place in February, and effectively ended his season - although this latest incident was not as serious as the one that he suffered last year.
[Featured Image by L.M. Otero/AP Images]