Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh says he’s ‘ready to play’
MIAMI (AP) — Chris Bosh has decided he’s ready to play for the Miami Heat again.
He’ll soon find out if the Heat agree.
Bosh, whose last two seasons were cut short by blood clots, said in a podcast released Wednesday that he’s healthy and plans to be with his team for training camp that starts Sept. 27 in the Bahamas. He said he has not been cleared to play, and did not address if any new clots have formed in recent months.
"We released a statement back in May saying as soon as I’m ready to play, as soon as possible, we’ll play," Bosh said. "And I’m ready."
Bosh made the comments on the "Open Run" podcast, part of LeBron James’ digital platform called Uninterrupted. He had been almost completely silent about the issue since the second clot saga began with the discovery of one shortly after he arrived in Toronto on Feb. 11 for All-Star weekend events. Bosh did not reveal that clot when he did interviews the following day.
On the podcast, he expressed frustration over not being able to return for Miami’s playoff run last spring, said this offseason was a struggle and discussed how the bloodthinning regimen utilized by NHL player Tomas Fleischmann — whose career was also threatened by clots — was something he found intriguing.
"I’m not the first athlete to do this regimen," said Bosh, who did not specifically say if he’s on bloodthinners. Bosh’s representatives did not immediately respond to request seeking clarification.
Bosh went on bloodthinners after each of his first two known episodes with blood clots. Athletes in contact sports are generally discouraged from playing when taking such medication because of the heightened risks of bleeding and other complications.
Fleischmann has managed to return, and connected with Bosh through their agents this summer.
"He asked how I’m doing it and how it works, how I was able to play hockey," said Fleischmann, a former member of the Florida Panthers. "I explained it to him. … When I spoke to him he was pretty confident that he could play again and he wants to do everything he could to get back in the game."
Fleischmann — who expects to be on thinners for the rest of his life — was originally told he would never play hockey again because of clots. He told Bosh of his process, one where he takes thinners after practices and games and allows enough time to ensure that they’re out of his system when he needs to play. He takes pills in the offseason and gets the medication via injections during the season.
"It stays in your system only for the dosage you put in," Fleischmann told The Associated Press. "You know exactly how many hours your blood is thin. After that it goes away and you can do whatever you want."
Teammates have said they expect to see Bosh during camp. He has released some video clips and photos of his recent workouts in Los Angeles — including one with former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, now a member of the Chicago Bulls. But Bosh has not been on the practice floor in Miami with teammates for informal pre-camp workouts.
"Chris’ timetable is just a little different than everybody else," Heat captain Udonis Haslem said. "We have to be mindful and we have to be conscious of the things that are important. And the thing that’s most important is that when Chris needs to be ready that he’s ready."
Bosh cited a recent tweet from Heat managing general partner Micky Arison as an indicator that he will be welcomed back. Bosh has three years remaining on his contract and will make about $76 million in those seasons, whether he returns to play or not.
"I’m in incredible shape; at least decent enough," Bosh said. "I look good when I take my shirt off. … But in all due seriousness, and especially with Micky Arison saying `hey, see you at camp,’ I think it’s moving forward. I have no reason to believe that it’s not. And, you know, we’ll finish this."
Bosh said he "absolutely" will be at camp.
"It is my contractual and professional obligation to be there," Bosh said, adding, "Will I be cleared? I don’t know. That’s out of my hands. But I will play basketball in the NBA."