A new report out of Miami details just how desperate Miami Heat All-Star big man Chris Bosh was to play down the stretch of the 2015-16 season, despite working on medication provided to help save him from his life-threatening blood clots.
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Bosh, who has been forced to sit out each of the last two seasons from February onward, reportedly wanted to time his blood thinner medication intake in a way that would allow him to still play evening games.
The Heat center, who last played on February 9, reportedly had comeback after comeback attempt thwarted by Miami brass, who remain fearful for his health.
According to a team source, the Bosh camp spent considerable time exploring the idea of Bosh continuing to take those blood thinners, but at a time of day (such as early morning) that the medication would be out of his bloodstream by game time.
Someone with knowledge of the situation said blood tests indicated the medication was out of Bosh’s system after 8 to 12 hours, which would significantly lessen the risk for Bosh playing. But the Heat and team doctors rejected that idea.
None of the doctors involved in Bosh’s case is commenting, but Robert Myerburg --- an expert on treatment of athletes and a cardiologist at U-Health – said even though some of the newer blood thinners can be out of a patient’s system within 12 hours, “I would not use that strategy [that the Bosh camp explored]. There’s too much at risk.
“The drug being out of the system is not what worries me as much as the unprotected time” during games and other times when the blood thinner is out of his system, even more so if he’s subjected to trauma in an area where there was past clotting (in his leg and calf). He said patients with atrial fibrillation can sometimes be taken off thinners when they go on a skiing trip, but this is different.
There is genuine fear that Bosh, who turned 32 in March, may never play in the NBA again.
None of this would help the Heat financially. The team wouldn’t be able to claim medical hardship on Bosh’s contract until hearings set for a year after that Feb. 9 2016 date. Chris, who made nearly $22.2 million this season, is owed nearly $76 million from the Heat between now and 2019, money that would be picked up by an insurance company should he remain unable to play.
The big man averaged 19.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists a contest this season in only 33.5 minutes a night, but the blood clot diagnosis that ended his 2014-15 campaign returned just before the NBA’s All-Star break. Miami president Pat Riley, who watched as famed Heat center Alonzo Mourning’s career nearly ended due to focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and an eventual kidney transplant, does not want to let his All-Star play doctor.
Even if it, sadly, cuts Bosh’s career off around his prime, and costs Riley a chance at competing for a championship with a Heat team that won 48 games and was a win away from a Conference finals showdown with LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.
How this will all be settled by the time the Heat return to camp in October remains to be seen. For now, the best hope is that doctors determine that Bosh’s blood thinners aren’t necessary, but after two seasons lost to blood clots this is hardly a sure thing.
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