All-Star forward Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat underwent more tests in a South Florida hospital on Friday, amid concerns that blood clots have worked their way from his legs to his lungs to create a condition that could be season-ending or worse.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the team is still waiting for a full diagnosis and expected prognosis, insisting that it is too soon to draw any conclusions.
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But if the clot fears are confirmed, Bosh would almost certainly be facing a recovery period of at least several months.
Asked if that was what doctors were testing for, Spoelstra said he would be "talking out of line" if he discussed that with the information he had.
"This is too premature," he said before the Heat beat the New York Knicks 111-87. "If I were to comment right now … I’m not a doctor and as soon as we collect all the data, we’ll come up with a statement for you. We don’t have that right now, so we will soon enough."
The concern from the Heat and Bosh’s NBA peers, however, is real and understandable.
"Pray for CB," Indiana Pacers forward Paul George wrote on Twitter.
Bosh, 30, has been dealing with side and back pain for several days. He went to a hospital on Thursday for evaluation. Spoelstra said he spoke with Bosh earlier Friday.
"He’s in great spirits. CB is always CB," Spoelstra said. "Always has a great, positive outlook on everything, so we kept it to other things."
The Heat said there would be no update Friday night before they returned to Miami.
The issue of blood clots is particularly serious in NBA circles right now, with Bosh’s situation coming just days following the death of former NBA player Jerome Kersey. Doctors said Kersey’s cause of death was related to a clot traveling from one of his legs to one of his lungs.
And last month, Brooklyn forward Mirza Teletovic was ruled out for the season once clots were found on his lungs.
"I’m no doctor, so I have no way of knowing what he’s going through or what he’s feeling," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said of Bosh, who he vacationed with in Haiti earlier this week after the All-Star Game in New York. "I just knew that he wasn’t feeling his best."
The 6-foot-11 Bosh is averaging 21.1 points and 7 rebounds for Miami this season, his first in a five-year, $118 million deal.
"We are just staying focused on positivity and keeping him healthy," Bosh’s wife Adrienne wrote on her Twitter account, adding that Bosh "is doing ok."
Thursday started off as a day that figured to bring great excitement to Miami, which traded four players and two draft picks in order to land point guard Goran Dragic from Phoenix in a move that Heat President Pat Riley said would help in "getting the Miami Heat back to real championship prominence."
Hours later, the concern about Bosh overshadowed it all.
"I know you’re strong and will come back better than ever on and off the court," tweeted Cleveland’s LeBron James, Bosh’s former Miami teammate.
Athletes have come back, sometimes better than ever, after blood clots have found their lungs.
Serena Williams was diagnosed with the problem known as a pulmonary embolism in 2011, and has been the dominant player in the world again since her return. Tomas Fleischmann of the Florida Panthers missed several months while playing with Colorado in 2011 with clots and has had a robust career since. NASCAR driver Brian Vickers has also faced similar issues.
"Scariest thing I ever experienced," Williams said months after returning.
There’s also the tales with unhappy endings.
Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Jason Pinkston’s career may be over after he was diagnosed with clots on his lungs last year for a second time. And in 2005, Arizona women’s basketball player Shawntinice Polk collapsed and died from a clot just weeks before she was to begin her senior season.
"We just want the best for Chris and his family," Wade said.
Losing Bosh would obviously be a huge blow for the Heat, who have appeared in the NBA Finals in each of the last four seasons but are struggling just to hang on to a spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race this year.
It has been a season filled with tumult, starting with James’ decision in July to leave Miami for Cleveland in a move that forced the Heat to rebuild most of its roster. Bosh chose to stay in Miami, turning down interest from Houston and elsewhere to remain a Heat cornerstone.
Bosh was the 13th-leading scorer in the NBA this season entering Friday. He leads the Heat in several categories, including field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted and even 3-pointers made and attempted.