Bulls' Nikola Mirotic: Out Thursday vs. Atlanta

Mirotic (back) will be held out of Thursday's preseason matchup with the Hawks, KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Mirotic exited Monday's matchup with the Hornets with a strained lower back and deemed himself day-to-day after the contest. After failing to practice Tuesday, the Bulls weren't willing to clear him for the preseason finale. Fortunately for Mirotic, it doesn't sound like he's dealing with a major setback, as the team hopes to have him back at practice Saturday and at full strength for the Oct. 27 regular-season opener. Mirotic opened training camp with the hope of capturing the starting power forward role, but Taj Gibson has outperformed both Mirotic and Bobby Portis in the preseason and seems to have solidified himself as the Bulls' top option at that position.

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