(CBS/AP) MIAMI - Chris Bosh will get a chance to convince the Miami Heat that he's ready to play in these Eastern Conference finals.
Bosh's status was upgraded to "day-to-day" by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on Monday, after more than three weeks of the team only saying his absence because of a strained lower abdominal muscle was indefinite. The announcement raises the possibility that Bosh may play Tuesday night when the Heat host the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the East title series, now knotted at two games apiece.
"His status is day-to-day," Spoelstra said. "And I know everything's heightened because of the playoffs. I'll continue to make my evaluations about Chris. He's making significant progress. But to say it's definitive right now is premature. Each day will be a new evaluation and then we'll go from there."
Shortly after a Game 4 loss on Sunday evening, ESPN.com reported Bosh is expected to play in Game 5.
Bosh has had several on-court workouts in the past week, and Spoelstra said he was going to evaluate him again Monday.
"It's not a normal situation," Spoelstra said. "Everything's heightened. It is extreme."
Bosh was injured late in the first half of the opening game in the Indiana-Miami second round series on May 13. The team never committed to any timeframe for his return, other than saying he was out indefinitely.
In the nine postseason games since, Miami has gone 5-4. And with the Heat-Celtics series now essentially a best-of-three to determine who goes to the NBA finals, Miami would gladly welcome whatever edge Bosh can provide, even if that means working one of their top players back into the lineup in the midst of a playoff series.
"We couldn't win without him for two years. And not only could we not win without him, we looked horrible without him," Spoelstra said. "So I think that was the bigger challenge. If and when we ever get to that point, we'll gladly take that challenge. He was our most important player for a long period of time."
Since Bosh arrived with LeBron James to play alongside Dwyane Wade in Miami in July 2010, the Heat have won 72 percent (116-45) of their games with him in the lineup. Without Bosh, Miami has won only 52 percent of the time, going 12-11.
CBSSports.com's Ben Golliver notes that with Bosh during the playoffs, Miami has averaged 96.5 points and allowed 83.3 points. Without Bosh, Miami has averaged 95.7 points and allowed 91.7 points.