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Miami and Chris Bosh have only difficult decisions ahead

Hopeful, but purposefully vague and without promise.

Bosh wants to return to play, this is clear. The Heat would love to have Bosh back, this is clear. Miami’s position has been one of protecting Bosh, both medically and with the public as their silence has been at Bosh’s direction.

But there’s also this reality: The Heat have had two seasons derailed because of Bosh’s medical issues. If their doctors don’t think he can be cleared to play, the team has to protect itself from having the turn of events affect not only Bosh’s personal health but also the health of the team.

Bosh last played Feb. 9. According to league rules, if he does not play again by Feb. 9, 2017, an independent doctor approved by the Heat and the player’s union can review Bosh’s case and give a recommendation to the league. If the doctor doesn’t believe Bosh can continue his career, the Heat can take the 11-time All-star’s contract off their books for salary cap purposes.

Bosh is owed $75 million over the next three years. He would receive all the money. Miami would receive some savings via an insurance policy, but would not do this to save money. If it was up to the Heat, a healthy Bosh would be playing for them every night.

For now, everyone will cool off and get some distance. There is time for reflection and further investigation. The player’s union is already involved. The league office is as well. This is beyond unique for reasons both known and private.

No one is happy about it, it has rotten all around.

But the bottom line is that while the Heat hope for the best, a front office known for its long-term planning and execution is fully preparing itself for the worst. It has to, it’s part of the job.

Bautista had reached base after being hit by a pitch from Matt Bush.

“I had a hard slide at second base. I could have injured [Odor, but] I chose not to,” Bautista said. “I tried to send a message that I didn’t appreciate getting hit [by the pitch].”

Odor wasn’t available to reporters after the game.

Howard said he uses former UAB teammates as motivation. Many of them were unable to continue their football careers when the school shut down the program for one season.

“Some people had one year left,” Howard said. “They stayed. They didn’t want to pack up and leave for like one year. Some walk-ons, they came to UAB and they really didn’t have an opportunity to just go somewhere else. So [I’m] definitely [representing them].”

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