Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik is done for the rest of the season because of a fractured left fibula that he suffered in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
An MRI and CT scan before Game 4 on Tuesday confirmed the diagnosis, but Asik still played two minutes in the Miami Heat's 101-93 victory. The Heat will try to eliminate the Bulls in Game 5 on Thursday.
"You'd have to ask [athletic trainer] Fred [Tedeschi why the Bulls played Asik after the diagnosis]," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It was something that they thought that he could play with. He tried to go, he couldn't, and that's the way it is."
The injury will not require surgery.
The 24-year-old rookie from Turkey averaged only one point, 2.1 rebounds and 10 minutes per game this postseason. Asik played in all 82 regular-season games and averaged 2.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 12.1 minutes.
When asked if Kurt Thomas will pick up some of Asik's minutes, Thibodeau said: "He may. Or we also have the option to go small, so we'll see how it goes."
Bulls teammate Luol Deng was disappointed to hear Asik is done.
"That's tough. He really tried to play," he said. "You could tell, we could all tell before the game, even at shootaround that he was hurt pretty bad. But he wants it just as bad as everyone and he really tried to go out there and try to do something, but he really couldn't."
Deng saw Asik develop right before his eyes this season.
"I always say Omer's going to be great. He's going to be a good player in this league for years to come," he said. "Just the things he does, or the things he's doing right now as a rookie, a lot of people don't notice it, but if you know the game you see the little things that he does that a lot of rookies don't know yet. Or a lot of rookies don't get till later in their career and he's doing that already."
"I think he's gotten a lot better. The one thing he does great is really help defense right now. He reads the play really well. And he's done a good job of not fouling like he was doing earlier in the year. He's got better at that."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.