Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo avoids serious wrist injury, will return when swelling subsides: Sources

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo underwent further tests that revealed he did not suffer any serious injury to his right wrist, league sources said. The Athletic on Monday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Antetokounmpo sprained his wrist midway through the Bucks’ 112-100 win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. He did not play the rest of the game.
  • His return will be based on when the swelling subsides, according to league sources.
  • The 28-year-old is averaging 31.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per game this season for Milwaukee (41-17), which is second in the Eastern Conference behind the Celtics (42-17).

Background story

Antetokounmpo suffered the injury with 10:55 left in the second quarter of the game against Chicago after trying to block a shot at the basket.

Captaining the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Antetokounmpo took the court with his right wrist and thumb wrapped. He scored the first basket, fouled out with 11:40 left and was done for the night. His team went on to defeat Team LeBron 185-174.

What this means for the Eastern Conference

Riding a 12-game winning streak before the All-Star break, the Bucks are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference at 41-17, just half a game behind the Boston Celtics, with 24 games remaining on the schedule. Avoiding an extended absence for Antetokounmpo should allow them to remain in what looks to be a tight race atop the Eastern Conference and hold off the third-place 76ers, who are 2.5 games behind the Bucks, and the fourth-place Cavaliers, who are 4 .5 games behind the Bucks. — Nah

What it means for the Bucks

Antetokounmpo is once again in the middle of a tight NBA MVP race. Averaging 31.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per game in his career, he means everything to the Bucks and plays a big role in everything they do on offense and defense.

The Bucks have struggled with injuries throughout this season, but Antetokounmpo’s massive two-way effort has helped keep Milawukee near the top of the standings. The Bucks’ two-time NBA MVP was playing his best basketball of the season before suffering the injury against the Bulls last Thursday, averaging 37.2 points, 13.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game over the previous 11 games. Keeping Antetokounmpo off the injury report for an extended period of time will be a huge boost for the Bucks heading into the final 24 games of the season. — Nah

Compulsory reading

(Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today)

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