Bucks F Mirotic expected to play in opener versus Pistons


Milwaukee Bucks forward Nikola Mirotic is expected to return from a thumb injury to play in Game 1 of the first-round series against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Mirotic missed the final 11 games of the regular season after fracturing his left thumb during a March 19 game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Mirotic fully participated in Friday's practice and took part in Saturday's non-contact practice. He had his thumb taped during both workouts.

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"Not much soreness, as we expected," Mirotic told reporters on Saturday. "I should be ready to go."

Mirotic averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in 14 games (three starts) for the Bucks before the injury. He was acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans prior to the trading deadline after averaging 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 32 games (22 starts) for the Pelicans.

Mirotic has a 12.3 scoring average in 319 career NBA games in five seasons. He spent his first 3 1/2 seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Mirotic said he is ready to provide a boost off the bench for the top-seeded Bucks.

"This is going to be my fourth playoffs in five years," Mirotic said. "The guys are ready, but the message from our coach is that there's nothing different in the playoffs. We need to play our same basketball. Play hard. I think we should be fine. We are a very deep team and very hungry."

--Field Level Media

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