MIAMI (AP) – Chris Bosh has pronounced himself ready to play again.
And now he’s waiting to see if he gets cleared for a comeback.
The Miami Heat forward who had each of his last two seasons halted by blood clots that were discovered at the All-Star break said in a podcast released Wednesday that he “absolutely” intends to be with his team for training camp that starts in the Bahamas on Sept. 27. But he also revealed that he has not yet been cleared to play again, though he’s confident that it will happen.
“I’m ready to play,” Bosh said. “We’ve been talking about it for a long time. We released a statement back in May saying as soon as I’m ready to play, as soon as possible, we’ll play. And I’m ready.”
Bosh made the comments on the “Open Run” podcast, which is part of LeBron James’ digital platform called Uninterrupted. Bosh had some social-media posts in recent days hinting that he would soon be appearing on the podcast.
“I feel great. … I’ve done all my work,” Bosh said. “I’ve done what I need to do working with the doctors.”
On the podcast, he also cited a recent tweet from Heat managing general partner Micky Arison as an indicator that he will be welcomed back on the floor this season. 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 will be at camp.
“It is my contractural and professional obligation to be there,” Bosh said, adding, “Will I be cleared? I don’t know. But I will play basketball in the NBA.”
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.
But some athletes have managed to play while on the medication, including NHL free agent Tomas Fleischmann – who Bosh has spoken with.
“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 told he would never play hockey again after he was diagnosed with a clot. Like Bosh, Fleischmann also had at least one recurrence of clotting to deal with, but he managed to balance the rigors of competition and air travel with being on thinners for years since.
Fleischmann explained his process to Bosh, 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 said in an interview with AP. “You know exactly how many hours your blood is thin. After that it goes away and you can do whatever you want.”
Bosh said he and his wife have done all the necessary research to convince themselves that a comeback is not overly risky, and that this summer was the hardest of his life.
“This has been a struggle,” Bosh said. “This has not been easy.”
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