MIAMI (AP) – Chris Bosh is still hurting, and his Olympic plans are being pushed aside so he can heal.
The Miami Heat forward told USA Basketball on Friday that he is withdrawing from consideration for the London Games so he can continue recovering from the strained abdominal muscle that sidelined him for a portion of his team’s run to the NBA championship. Bosh announced the decision through agent Henry Thomas one day after Heat teammate Dwyane Wade pulled out of the Olympic mix because of looming left knee surgery.
“This injury was a pretty serious one,” Thomas said. “He was able to come back and play under the circumstances because he was trying to contribute to them winning a championship. There’s still pain. There’s still discomfort. And the real concern is if he doesn’t rest and do the rehab associated with the injury, this could become sort of a chronic thing for him.”
Bosh made the decision after consulting with Heat team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick and others. Bosh, who played for the “Redeem Team” that won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, called USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and team chairman Jerry Colangelo on Friday to deliver the word.
“He wanted to be part of it,” Thomas said. “It was a great experience in `08. Feels like it could be another one. The exposure he would get being part of that team is something he would like. But at the end of the day, his health going forward is more important than all of those things.”
Heat President Pat Riley said after the NBA draft ended late Thursday night that the team was leaving the decision on whether to play in London up to Bosh.
“It’s based upon the need to rest and continue to rehab the injury,” Thomas said. “He got his first taste of it in `08 and it was a great experience. But I think in talking to the doctors about it, they said you could play, but you’d be putting yourself at risk.”
With Wade and now Bosh out, there are 16 players left for 12 spots on the U.S. Olympic team – with LeBron James the lone Heat player left on the national team roster. The team convenes in Las Vegas next week to start training camp, then has five exhibitions with international teams before opening Olympic play against France on July 29.