MIAMI — Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh likely will miss the remainder of the playoff series against the Indiana Pacers and possibly more time after an MRI confirmed he strained an abdominal muscle during Sunday’s Game 1 victory.
“Our team is going to be successful, and whether I’m playing or not I’m still going to be a part of that,” Bosh said Monday, a practice day for the Heat. “I just have to make sure that I support them any kind of way and, you know, this season has to be extended for me to play again.”
The Heat placed no timetable on a return for Bosh, who sustained the injury with a minute left in the first half when he drove the lane and dunked against Pacers center Roy Hibbert. Bosh, who also drew a foul on Hibbert, fell to his knees when he landed and reached for the right side of his lower abdomen.
He made the free throw to complete the three-point play and then jogged back to play defense.
“That’s when I noticed I couldn’t really move the way I wanted to,” he said. “Initially it was off the jump and then I was able to walk and everything, but running is a totally different story.”
Bosh said the injury “came out of the blue” and was the first abdominal strain of his career.
“We’ve started treatment,” he said. “We’ll see how my body responds. If I came back, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.”
San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili missed two weeks this season with a similar injury. But Utah’s Al Jefferson did not miss a game when he sustained a strained abdominal muscle this season. Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick missed 17 games with an abdominal injury, but his required surgery. So the timetable can vary widely.
But the injury is not a tear, according to an MRI.
“It’s not the worst thing that could have happened,” Bosh said.
The Eastern Conference Finals would start either Saturday, May 26, or Monday, May 28 _ which gives Bosh 12 or 14 days to heal.
Coach Erik Spoelstra declined to say what his new lineup might be, but he could opt for Ronny Turiaf at center, with Udonis Haslem continuing to start at power forward. Though Spoelstra would not rule out LeBron James starting at power forward, James said that is not going to happen.
Bosh, who said the injury is “sore,” indicated that he wouldn’t return until it is fully healed.
“We’re going to try to make sure everything is solid before I get back out there so I don’t make it worse,” he said. “We preach all these things all the time about it’s going to be tough and it’s a long hard road and you’ve got to deal with the bumps.
“Well, my bump is here and I just have to make sure I get over it.”