Sports Injury Expert Breaks Down Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Latest Injury

Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo

Getty Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks is helped off the court by Thanasis Antetokounmpo #43 and Brook Lopez #11 after suffering an injury against the Boston Celtics.

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo avoided the worst outcome of his non-contact lower leg injury after his MRI revealed no structural damage to his left Achilles, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Wednesday, April 10.

But he’s likely done for the regular season, according to sports injury expert and certified athletic trainer Jeff Stotts.

“Sounds like he has a low-grade calf strain (likely involving the soleus). That would suggest a two-week absence is likely. There will be an elevated risk for recurrence or aggravation for the immediate future as well,” Stotts told Heavy Sports.

The Bucks labeled Antetokounmpo’s injury as a left soleus strain.

Stotts explained on his website,, which has a comprehensive NBA injury database, that the soleus is part of the dynamic muscle complex which is the calf.

“These muscles share a conjoined tendon, the Achilles, and work together to point the toes in a direction known as plantar flexion,” Stotts wrote on his website.

Antetokounmpo, a power player who relies on his explosiveness, would need to get his calf right before he returns in the playoffs as Stotts noted that “the calf is also involved in knee flexion and plays an integral role in acceleration and other explosive movements.”

Antetokounmpo’s teammate, Damian Lillard, missed 15 days and seven games while with Portland with a calf strain last season.

The play-in tournament could buy the Bucks more time for Antetokounmpo’s recovery as the first round of the playoffs will not start until April 20.

Bucks Snap Skid in Record Fashion

Cushioning the impact of Antetokounmpo’s injury is the Bucks’ 104-91 victory against No. 1 seed Boston Celtics in a record fashion.

The Celtics became the first team in NBA history to not shoot a free throw in a game while the Bucks only had two attempts, resulting in a record-low combined attempts. The previous fewest combined free throw attempts were 11.

“It was weird but that seems to be the trend now like fouls are not a part of the game no more,” Lillard told reporters.

Antetokounmpo was the only player who attempted free throws and made 1 of 2 in the first quarter. He had 15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks before exiting the game with the injury.

Patrick Beverley led the Bucks in his return from a three-game absence with 20 points in a starting role. Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez added 15 points apiece while Lillard and Khris Middleton had 12 each in a well-balanced Bucks offense.

The Celtics played with no incentive as they have already clinched homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs with the best record in the league.

Al Horford (toe) and Kristaps Porzingis (injury management) both did not play for the Celtics.

Jockeying for Playoff Seeding

The win pushed the Bucks’ record to 48-31 and kept their one-game lead for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

The New York Knicks (47-32) jumped to solo third after beating the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic‘s loss to the Houston Rockets. The Magic moved down in a tie with the Cleveland Cavaliers for fourth with 46-33 records.

The Bucks will host the Magic tonight (April 10) without Antetokounmpo. Both teams will be playing on the second night of back-to-back.