Omer Asik Injury Knocks Chicago Bulls' Reserve Center Out For Season

Omer Asik will miss the rest of the season for the Chicago Bulls after suffering an ankle injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. The Bulls lost the game in overtime, and trail Miami 3-1 in their best-of-seven series. As such, the "rest of the season" might be just one game, unless Chicago can fight back to extend the series and possibly earn a berth to the NBA Finals.

Asik was a game-time decision due to a lower leg strain. He ended up playing less than a minute at the end of the first quarter before LeBron James fell on the Turkish center's leg, knocking Asik out of game. He went to the locker room and didn't return.

Turkish basketball broadcaster Ismail Senol tweeted early Wednesday that Asik will not play again this season, and will face a 6-8 week recovery program to get his leg in order. That could impact his schedule for joining the Turkish national team ahead of Eurobasket 2011, assuming there is no NBA lockout and players are allowed to compete in international play.

Eurobasket will decide the first set of bids for the 2012 London Olympics field. There's a second "last-chance" tournament scheduled for July 2012, just before the Olympics. The Olympic field is limited to 12 teams, making it the most exclusive international basketball tournament.

Asik, a rookie, averaged 12 minutes per game in the regular season and 10 minutes in the playoffs. He's considered one of the best reserve big man defenders in the NBA, even as a rookie, and helped contribute to Chicago's top-notch bench.

Be sure to check out our Heat vs. Bulls hub for full series coverage.

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