- Michael Wallace, ESPN Staff Writer
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MIAMI - The Heat will have Chris Bosh in tow as the Eastern Conference finals swing to Boston for the next two games, but the All-Star forward is not expected to play as he continues to recover from an abdominal strain.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday that Bosh would join the team in Boston to maintain a recent rehab schedule that has seen him go through four on-court workouts this week, including a session before the team left Miami on Thursday.
But Spoelstra also quickly emphasized that Bosh isn't ready to return to game action and indicated he would sit out of Games 3 and 4 in Boston. The Heat have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series and are looking to return to the NBA Finals for the second time in as many seasons.
Bosh is making progress from the injury he sustained May 13 in Game 1 of the conference seminfinals against Indiana. But it's been a methodical process.
"We want him around so we can work with him," Spoelstra said of the sessions with Bosh that have been conducted by assistant coach Keith Askins and team rehab specialist Rey Jaffet. "He's done three straight workouts (and) he just finished one again. The same workout, but a little bit different. It's a rehab-slash-basketball workout."
After initially remaining in the training room during games after the injury, Bosh has since sat with teammates on the Heat bench for each of the first two home games against Boston. Bosh has averaged 18 points and 7.9 rebounds this season, but the Heat have been getting timely contributions from role players in his absence to win five consecutive playoff games.
The team still considers Bosh's status as out indefinitely, and Spoelstra said Thursday it's still far too soon to speculate on his possible return.
"It's too early to tell right now," Spoelstra said. "I think we're all encouraged that he's actually able to do some work."