Wednesday October 29th, 2014

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler will not play in Wednesday's season opener against the New York Knicks because of a thumb injury, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Butler injured his thumb on October 19 and missed Chicago's final preseason game. The Bulls said he would miss two to four weeks with the injury, but Butler said at shootaround on Wednesday that he is hoping to play on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler could miss one to three more weeks and the team does not have a precise timetable for his return.

"No one knows, that’s the thing," Thibodeau said of Butler's absence. "Two to four (weeks), one to three, I don’t know what it is. He’s not comfortable going yet, so when he is, he will. We know that he wants to be out there, and injuries are a part of the game. Just deal with it."

• Nets' Lopez to miss season opener with foot injury

Butler averaged 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game last season for the Bulls. Entering his fourth season, he has a Friday deadline to sign a contract extension with Chicago or he will become a restricted free agent in 2015.

With Butler out, veteran guard Kirk Hinrich will likely step into the starting lineup while Mike Dunleavy, Tony Snell and rookie Doug McDermott could see expanded roles.

• Adam Silver: 'Highly unlikely' game length changes

- Alexander Melnick

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