Bulls' Mirotic has appendix out, expected back after break

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CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls expect forward Nikola Mirotic to be sidelined until after the All-Star break following surgery Wednesday to remove his appendix.

The team says Mirotic was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and that the operation at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center ''went as expected.'' Mirotic did not accompany the Bulls to Los Angeles, where they start a seven-game trip against the Lakers on Thursday night. He figures to miss at least eight games, with the All-Star break scheduled for Feb. 12-14.

The 6-foot-10 Mirotic has been inconsistent this season, averaging 10.6 points while shooting 38.6 percent. But he played well the past two games against Cleveland and Miami, averaging 16 points and shooting 11 of 20.

The Bulls (25-19) are fourth in the Eastern Conference.