Giannis Antetokounmpo injury update: Bucks star suffers calf strain, could miss regular season

Milwaukee — Late in the third quarter of the Milwaukee Bucks' 104-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, Giannis Antetokounmpo left the game with a strained left calf and did not return. The eight-time All-Star underwent an MRI and will miss the Bucs' remaining three regular season games. The team announced Wednesday.

“[The concern level is] High, I'll say that,” coach Doc Rivers said after the game. “He's Giannis. I think everyone probably feels the same as I do right now. So, we hope for the best.”

Wednesday morning, Shams Saranya An MRI showed Antetokounmpo is avoiding Achilles damage in his left foot, and his return to play will be based on how he responds to daily treatment and evaluation.

“Anytime you see one of your teammates go down, it's a real concern,” Lillard said. “You know, we spend a lot of time around each other more than our families. I think that's the No. 1 thing, and then you have to be your best player, the most important part of our team. This moment in our season — it's an 'oh shit' moment. It was like. Especially since there was no one else. I was right next to him, so I saw his expression, so I was scared.”

Celtics guard Derrick White knocked down a 3-pointer with less than four minutes to play in the third. After passing the ball inside to Damian Lillard, Antetokounmpo started running down the court and suddenly collapsed.

Antetokounmpo immediately grabbed his calf and was on the floor under the care of the Bucs medical staff. He eventually got to his feet and was helped off the court by teammates. Cameras in the tunnel showed him walking towards the locker room under his own power, but with a noticeable limp.

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Antetokounmpo has only missed six games this season, but has struggled with nagging injuries in recent weeks. He most recently sat out April 5 against the Toronto Raptors with a left hamstring strain, and was listed for Tuesday's game because of the same issue.

How long Antetokounmpo will be sidelined remains to be seen. While neither player suffered or recovered from injury during the 2022–23 season, Lillard suffered a strained soleus during the 2022–23 season, a specific calf muscle Antetokounmpo pulled. After the game, Lillard said he was out for two weeks.

“That shit hurt,” Lillard said of the injury. “Usually I'm able to avoid things. I feel like I have a high pain tolerance, and when I did that, I started walking and not only was it painful, but the muscle just couldn't handle it. So, once it calmed down, I think you found a way to stumble around it. , but it's a different feeling.”

The Bucks have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, although their seed has yet to be determined. After the win over the Celtics, they are 48-31 on the season and have a 1.5-game lead over the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 20, but the Bucks' opening series won't be until April 21, depending on the schedule.

Khris Middleton said until Antetokounmpo returns, whenever that may be, it will take a “combined effort” to win games.

“Encourage him to do the right thing, don't rush it and over-injure it and make it worse,” Middleton said. “On our end, we have to find a way to fill the gap together. A boy is not going to replace someone like that.”

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