CHICAGO (AP) — While Chris Bosh hopes to return this season, the Miami Heat aren't ready to put a timetable on their star forward's comeback.
One day after the 11-time All-Star released a statement saying he would love to rejoin the team's playoff push after his latest blood clot scare, coach Erik Spoelstra would not say when Bosh will suit up again.
All Spoelstra would say after Friday's shootaround in Chicago before a game against the Bulls was that Bosh "is in a great place right now" as he tries to work his way back.
As for a return?
"We don't have any kind of timetable or anything like that," Spoelstra said.
The Heat came into Friday's game fourth in the Eastern Conference at 37-27, and they sure would not mind getting Bosh back for a playoff run.
He isn't their only banged up star at the moment. Dwyane Wade has been nursing a bruised thigh.
Bosh has not since Feb. 9, when he scored 18 in a loss to San Antonio. Bosh said in his statement Thursday he does not currently have deep vein thrombosis — or blood clots in his leg. He did not mention if he was still on blood thinners and, like Spoelstra, did not set a timetable for his comeback.
Even so, it was the first time since Feb. 13, the day after he withdrew from the All-Star game with what was described as a strained left calf, that he said anything even close to specific about his status. And while questions linger, so do concerns.
"As a friend, you want to see him healthy," Miami's Luol Deng said. "Basketball is just what we do. We all love to play basketball, but people forget that we have lives. He has a great family. All your teammates and all your friends, the biggest thing is their health. As long as he is getting better, that's what matters."
Goran Dragic echoed that, saying, "We need him. But his health comes first."
Bosh has been going through individual workouts with the coaches, training, watching game video, walking through plays and attending home games. One thing he isn't doing is traveling. But teammates and Spoelstra see the effort he is putting in and would no doubt love to have him back in the lineup, helping the Heat make a playoff push and maybe even challenge old friend LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference.
"We're very happy that he's around, that he's healthy, that his spirits are good," Spoelstra said. "We love him. I love his spirit and him being around the team."
They're doing just fine for now without Bosh, who was averaging 19.1 points per game before being sidelined.
The Heat had won eight of 11 without him heading into Friday's game while playing at a faster pace with newcomer Joe Johnson starting at small forward and Deng moving from there to Bosh's spot at power forward.
While the Heat hope to get Bosh back, they are also steeling themselves for the possibility he does not return this season.
"First of all, we need to take care of business now," Dragic said. "We need to think about the games we're playing. It's really hard to think about the future. You never know what the future holds. But we're going to be happy (if) he's going to come back and I think that's gonna be good for our team."