After swinging one of the biggest deals at the NBA’s trade deadline, the Miami Heat might were dealt a crippling blow after it was revealed All-Star forward Chris Bosh was admitted to an area hospital Thursday for potential blood clots in on his lungs.
According to the Miami Herald, the Heat may announce later today that Bosh will miss the rest of the season after lung tests. The team told the local newspaper that initial tests proved “inconclusive.”
The report stated Bosh could have a pulmonary embolus, and may be treated with blood thinners for a pulmonary embolism, a potentially lethal condition.
However, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that Bosh’s condition is not life threatening, stressing, “And that’s the most important thing.”
Nirschl Orthopedic Clinic surgeon and sports medicine expert Dr. Derek Ochiai told International Business Times Friday that it's possible that Bosh could miss the rest of the season.
“Short-term, if he’s got a blood clot, it means that it's usually coming from your leg. A blood clot will break off and travel through the veins into your lung and lodge there,” Ochiai said in a phone interview. “It can cause chest pain, shortness of breath. It could be life-threatening such a large PE [pulmonary embolism]. It’s a big deal.”
Following the death of former Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerome Kersey after a PE traveled to his lung earlier this week, Bosh’s condition is certainly alarming. However, Ochiai stressed blood clots could happen to anyone for a number of reasons.
“Things that can predispose you to having a blood clot are things like long plane flights,” he said. “Birth-control pills can increase your chances of getting a blood clot, which can lead to a PE. Any orthopedic surgery can actually increase your risk of a blood clot.”
Long plane flights are a bit of an occupational hazard for all NBA players, with 41 games on the road every season. And Bosh did recently travel with teammate Dwyane Wade to Haiti over the All-Star break.
Wade did say to The Herald after Thursday’s practice that he knew Bosh “wasn’t feeling good” in Haiti.
“I don’t know if he was sick. I’m not a doctor,” Wade said. “I just know he wasn’t feeling good. He wasn’t coughing or throwing up, but he just wasn’t feeling good. So I don’t know when it happened. It could have happened in New York.”
Bosh participated in All-Star festivities last weekend, winning the All-Star Shooting Stars contest and playing 11 minutes in the weekend’s main event. But it wasn’t until after practice Thursday that he went to a doctor, at the behest of the Heat.
“The fact that it’s been diagnosed, and he’s in a hospital and getting treatment would have a very low mortality rate,” Ochiai said. “If they’re going to be treating it conservatively, with just watching him, that blood clot should resolve over a period of weeks. I’m sure they’re going to work him up for any kind of blood disorders that might have predisposed him to getting a blood clot. He’s going to need to be on blood thinners for usually at least three months after the diagnosis of a PE.”
While the Heat are clearly concerned for Bosh’s health, the team will certainly miss him on the court should he miss significant time.
As the NBA begins the second half of the regular season Friday, the Heat are clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by one game with a 22-30 record. But their chances of not only moving up the conference standings and advancing in the postseason were significantly raised after acquiring guard Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns before the deadline.
A starting five of Dragic, Wade, Bosh, small forward Luol Deng and emerging center Hassan Whiteside could potentially make a deep run in the playoffs.
Bosh is averaging 21.1 points and 7.0 rebounds over 44 games this season.