Omer Asik plays briefly in Game 4

Updated: May 24, 2011, 11:41 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

MIAMI -- Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik missed shootaround Tuesday morning with a muscle strain in his left leg, but was able to play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat.

Asik managed only two minutes of game action though, entering in the first quarter before leaving the game for good.

He suffered the initial injury in the third quarter of Game 3 on Sunday and did not return.

Miami leads the series 3-1 after winning Game 4 101-93 in overtime.

"Of course, Omer has played terrific for us ... but if Omer can't go, Kurt [Thomas] will be the next guy in," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said after Monday's practice.

Asik is averaging only one point, two rebounds and 10 minutes per game this postseason, but he has been lauded for his defense and energy.

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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