Heat's Chris Bosh out for Game 6

Updated: May 23, 2012, 5:26 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN.com

MIAMI -- Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, who's rehabbing from an abdominal strain suffered in Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers, ruled out a return for Game 6 on Thursday in Indianapolis.

However, the All-Star forward still believes it's possible he will be back if Miami advances.

Bosh
Bosh

That is, if the Heat can buy the time.

"I'm just hoping that everyone can keep doing what they're doing and extend the season," Bosh told ESPN.com on Wednesday at American Airlines Arena. "I do have a chance to play again. That's the light at the end of the tunnel for me. That keeps me going every day."

After a contentious 115-83 win on Tuesday night, the Heat are up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Pacers. Bosh has been rehabbing in Miami for the past 10 days since straining an abdominal muscle in Game 1, but says he is making significant progress. He hasn't resumed basketball activities, but he's working to strengthen his core and stay in shape by riding a stationary bike.

"You take it for granted how those little muscles in there play such a huge role in every single thing -- sitting down, getting up, turning, walking, talking, anything," Bosh said. "But it's gotten a lot better."

The Heat have bounced back after losing two straight games without Bosh and have the upper hand in the series. The Heat have won back-to-back games and potentially can clinch the series with another victory on Thursday. That would increase the chance they see Bosh in uniform again.

"I've come a far way in a week," Bosh said. "I was kind of nervous initially but it wasn't the worst news I could have gotten. I just have to keep believing and stay mentally strong. I think I'm healing at a very fast rate right now."

Bosh had been averaging 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in the playoffs before the injury. He says he has been watching the games closely and noticed he's received a lot of attention recently in his absence.

"I've never heard my name so much since I've been out," Bosh said with a grin. "It's funny to me."

Bosh is confident the Heat will prevail in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but wouldn't put a target on his return. The team says there is no update on the timetable.

"We're a hell of a team right now even though I'm not playing," Bosh said. "We still have to expect the same outcome, no matter what the situation is."

There is a silver lining to his injury. Now that Bosh is rehabbing in Miami, he has been spending more time with his newborn son, Jackson, who will turn three weeks old on Thursday. But he's still focused on getting back on the court.

"I'm just hoping there's a chance that I get back," Bosh said. "They're going to do their job and I'm going to do my job. All I think about is when I'm back out there, because it's going to happen. ...

"I need this team just like they need me."

ALSO SEE