Published November 20, 2014
Chris Bosh plans to get dressed up in a suit, make some popcorn and turn the volume high on his television when the Miami Heat visit New York on Thursday night.
He'll be watching from afar, and there's still no target for his return to the Heat lineup.
Bosh remained home when the Heat flew to New York on Wednesday, still unable to play because of a sprained left ankle. There's no timetable for his return, either, and it seems highly likely that his absence will stretch into next week after the Heat begin a round of four games in five days starting with the matchup in New York.
"I never get frustrated, man," Bosh said. "Every day it's getting better. Getting frustrated doesn't help. I don't like to be frustrated. I like to have a good time. I like to be happy. That's way better. So I keep that in mind when I'm doing therapy, when I'm getting treatment. It's just one step closer to getting back out there."
It's a high ankle sprain, and those typically can linger for six weeks or more. But in Bosh's case, the Heat believe they caught a huge break in that the swelling typically associated with the higher sprains never was an issue, and Miami's starting power forward did not need to have his ankle placed in a walking boot or soft cast — another typical treatment for the more severe sprains.
He was injured Jan. 15 in Chicago, when the Bulls' Omer Asik dove for a loose ball and crashed into Bosh's lower leg. Bosh hasn't seen the replays of the play, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has, and he's often said in recent days that Miami is simply relieved that the result wasn't something catastrophic.
"I'm just thankful it wasn't anything worse," Spoelstra said.
Without Bosh, the Heat plan to go with a smaller lineup against the Knicks, meaning LeBron James will log plenty of minutes at power forward.
The NBA's two-time reigning MVP is fine with that plan.
"We want guys to play with confidence," James said. "We don't want anyone to play outside of what they can do, but we want them to play at a high level and play with confidence. It's a great opportunity. We want C.B. back as quick as possible, but it's given guys an opportunity to play with confidence."
Miami returns home Friday to face Detroit. Saturday's schedule calls for travel to Oklahoma City for a Sunday game there against Kevin Durant and the Thunder, followed by another home date Monday against Cleveland and then an off day — no practice — Tuesday.
The Heat often prefer that an injured player go through a full-scale practice before returning, which means the earliest realistic date for a Bosh return could be Feb. 3 at Orlando. Spoelstra, however, ruled out nothing, and Bosh said he's given up trying to pick a target for a comeback, since he originally had the Knicks game circled on his calendar.
"It's too early to tell," Spoelstra said after Wednesday's practice. "He's doing more than he did" Tuesday.
Bosh is averaging 18.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in his first season with Miami. He has tried to do some treadmill work in recent days, only to find it too painful.
"It's getting better," Bosh said after going through some light shooting drills Wednesday, but still no hard running. "Each day is different. We're just trying to see how everything reacts right now. That's a part of it. I'm really not used to playing the waiting game and stuff, but I have no choice right now."
NOTES: Heat guard Dwyane Wade went through some of Wednesday's practice without the sunglasses he's been using because of fears that light may trigger a migraine relapse. He's unsure if he'll wear the glasses on Thursday night. ... Heat guard Eddie House (sprained ankle) is expected to play Thursday.