Bosh puts boot to injury

Chris Bosh is interviewed during Raptors media day on September  28, 2007. (Toronto Sun/Ernest...

Chris Bosh is interviewed during Raptors media day on September 28, 2007. (Toronto Sun/Ernest Doroszuk)

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

Chris Bosh doesn't have a PhD in plantar fasciitis but he does know the subject inside and out.

As much pain and discomfort as it caused him a year ago, he made it his business to research the ailment and knows only too well, as good as he feels today, if he doesn't keep the threat of a recurrence in mind, he easily could find himself repeating last year's experience.

"It's good right now, but I still treat it with respect," Bosh said yesterday as the Raptors gathered as a team for the first time prior to heading over to Italy for their European training camp. "I'm not going to say I'm 100% because I'm too nervous to say that. I just want to make sure I stay on top of it, continue to do the treatment that is necessary and hope that it completely goes away when it's done."

Plantar fasciitis basically is tears in the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel bone to the toes. Those tears cause inflammation which, as Bosh will attest, can be extremely painful.

The good news from Bosh's perspective is that he at least believes he has a handle on the problem. He made the tough decision to forego playing for the U.S. in the FIBA Americas qualifying tournament in order to get it under control.

"Learning about it, just talking to doctors, is one thing, but the reason it happens is another," Bosh said. "That's my thought process. What's the reason it happened, how to prevent it and how to get rid of it and how to keep if from coming back."

San Antonio Spurs defender extraordinaire Bruce Bowen helped in that regard. Bowen struggled with plantar fasciitis himself so it only was natural that Bosh would seek his advice.

"We had an entire conversation about just that," he said. "He just told me to make sure I ice it a lot, but the main thing he said and the thing I hear from everyone who has dealt with this is to treat it with respect. I think a lot of people think they're over it -- 'okay I'm good now' -- then they don't treat it anymore and they're playing on it every day and the next thing you know they need surgery. (Bowen) told me 'It's going to hurt and it will continue to hurt but if you keep doing your treatment, eventually the day will come when it will go away."

Bosh can't wait for that day.

He said it was at its worst last season when he first got up in the morning -- before the ligament got warm and stretched out.

"It's not that you can't walk, it's that it hurts when you walk," Bosh said. "I would be walking with a limp in the mornings. That's really tough. I wouldn't wish that on anybody." Bosh's only recourse was to limit the time he spent on his feet and too often last season that meant sitting out practice. Bosh vows that won't happen again.

"I expect to practise every day," Bosh said. "I think I got off to a slow start because I didn't practise that much. This year I expect to practise constantly, I expect to be 100% and I expect to get off to a good start."

Bosh counts himself fortunate that he has not had to undergo surgery or even succumb to the quick-fix cortisone shots that can temporarily mask the pain.

He'll consider himself even more fortunate when this thing goes away, once and for all.


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