“Real Doubt” Around Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Availability for Game 1


The Bucks could begin the postseason without their star player Giannis Antetokounmpo, who continues to recover from a left calf strain he suffered on April 9.

Giannis missed the last three games of the regular season and NBA insider Shams Charania says there is “real doubt” about the 2020 MVP taking the floor during Game 1 against the Pacers.

“Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) is rehabbing daily but there’s some real doubt for his status to begin series vs. Pacers on Sunday, sources say. Although Giannis has rare recovery ability, he’s very much up in the air for Game 1,” Charania reported. 

After the Bucks’ 113-88 loss to the Magic in their final regular season game, head coach Doc Rivers was asked for an update on Giannis’ condition and whether he will play.

“I honestly don’t know one way or the other,” Rivers said “I just know he’s doing all the work. We’re getting great reports. Yesterday he did everything so that was positive.”

The usual recovery time for a soleus strain is just over two weeks, which would mean Giannis’ return would come a few games into the first round of the postseason.

In positive news, Antetokounmpo’s injury though his MRI came back clean and didn’t reveal any structural damage to his Achilles.

But if Giannis fast tracks his recovery before he’s ready, it could lead to a major setback or Achilles issues – evidenced by Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury in the 2019 Finals.

Durant’s devastating injury happened just one month after he recovered from a calf injury.

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Milwaukee will certainly need to bring their A-Game against Indiana, who won the season series 1-4.

“Indiana has had our number all year, so perfect opponent,” Rivers said. “They’ve played great against us. They have great confidence against us. We’ll have great focus because we’re going to have to.”

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