MIAMI (AP) — All-Star forward Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat will miss at least the remainder of the NBA season because of blood clots on one of his lungs.
The problem, if it had not been caught, could have killed the 30-year-old Bosh, who had been fighting pain in his side and back for several days.
“Bosh, who is receiving care under the guidance of Miami Heat team physicians at a Baptist Health System Hospital, is currently resting comfortably,” the Heat said in a statement on Saturday. “Chris is OK and his prognosis is good.”
Bosh is the second NBA player whose final game this season was the All-Star Game. New York’s Carmelo Anthony was shut down for knee surgery this week, a move that was long expected.
Bosh’s situation was anything but. It was nothing short of a shock to the Heat, who entered Saturday’s game against New Orleans with a 23-30 record and holding onto the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Losing him becomes the latest — and by far the biggest — blow in a season filled with tumult for the Heat, reminiscent in some ways to when All-Star center Alonzo Mourning was forced to miss most of the 2000-01 season because of a kidney disease that eventually necessitated a transplant.
Bosh averaged 21.1 points and 7 rebounds for the Heat this season, his first in a five-year deal signed this past summer that will pay him $118 million.
Bosh was part of the ballyhooed free-agent haul Miami landed in 2010, when he and LeBron James were brought in to play alongside Dwyane Wade and form one of the most star-studded trios in league history.
They were together for four seasons, the breakup coming this past summer when James elected to go back to Cleveland. They went to the NBA Finals four times, winning two rings, the second of those in 2013 when Bosh made two plays that will forever be etched in Heat history.
On the 3-pointer that Ray Allen hit with 5.2 seconds left of Game 6 of that year’s NBA Finals against San Antonio, it was Bosh who fended off Manu Ginobili for the offensive rebound and found Allen backtracking toward the right corner for the tying shot. And to end that game, Bosh blocked Danny Green’s potentially game-tying 3-point try as the overtime clock expired.
In cases like these, it’s common for the clots to have worked their way from the legs to the lungs, a dangerous occurrence. Just days ago, such a medical event led to the sudden death of former NBA star Jerome Kersey, who was only 52 and showed no signs of trouble.
Last month, Brooklyn forward Mirza Teletovic was ruled out for the season once clots were found on his lungs. Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao went through a similar situation and missed most of the 2012-13 season.
Many athletes have dealt with clots and eventually returned, some better than ever. But the road to recovery is often long, starting with blood-thinning medication being prescribed — and those on that typically have to clear many hurdles before they can resume regular activity.