Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh hasn't played since Feb. 9 due to concerns regarding blood clots, but the 31-year-old star isn't closing the book on a return this season.
According to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, Bosh does not have any active blood clots and is hopeful that he can return to action before the 2015-16 campaign is over:
Full text of Bosh statement. pic.twitter.com/PhXpX2EV1T— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) March 10, 2016
The Heat are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference at 37-27, and Bosh's return would provide a major boost. However, the Miami Herald's Ethan J. Skolnick reported the Heat "will not clear Bosh to return if there is even the slightest risk to his health."
Bosh's comments come on the heels of a Feb. 24 report by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical that stated he was under pressure from physicians and the Heat organization to sit out the remainder of the season.
The team shut the 11-time All-Star down in February 2015 due to blood clots on his lung, but he returned in time for the 2015-16 campaign and thrived in 53 games played.
Bosh is currently averaging 19.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, and his presence makes Miami a legitimate threat to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
Per Michael Lee of The Vertical, teammate Dwyane Wade is well aware of how important Bosh's presence is to the team in a number of different areas: "Since he's been here, a lot of what he's meant to the organization, people don't really understand it. And it's not just his talent, he's so talented. But he's a great individual."
Bosh is a two-time NBA champion with the Heat, and alongside a talented core that includes Wade, Joe Johnson, Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and Luol Deng, he makes them among the NBA's most complete and dangerous teams.
One can only assume that Bosh is aware of the notion that the championship window may not be open much longer, with both he and Wade getting up there in age.
This season is likely one of Miami's best remaining opportunities as currently constructed, but it won't be able to go all the way without Bosh's services.
While it is vital to handle something as serious as a blood clot with great caution, Bosh's positivity is encouraging, and his potential return could change the entire landscape of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.