The Commercial Appeal
Antetokounmpo avoids serious injury to wrist
The last time Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn’t finish an NBA game due to an injury, it was Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on June 29, 2021. So when he checked out of the Milwaukee Bucks’ last regular season game against Chicago last Thursday, holding and flexing his right hand and did not return, a person close to the situation told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that’s all one needed to know about the concern over his injury.
Though X-ray imaging immediately after his fall into the stanchion did not reveal a break, pain and swelling around the wrist and thumb continued throughout the NBA all-star weekend in Salt Lake City. League sources said Antetokounmpo was evaluated daily – including the morning before he played 20 seconds of the All-star Game with his hand heavily wrapped.
He then headed to New York for further testing Monday to determine the cause of the swelling. The Journal Sentinel confirmed initial reports by ESPN and The Athletic that Antetokounmpo suffered a sprained ligament in the wrist. Pain management will be the issue for the 28-year-old big man as he prepares to return to action. Antetokounmpo managed pain in his right hand and around his thumb last season, as well.
The Bucks begin the final stretch of the season Friday night against Miami at Fiserv Forum. The team agreed to sign 7-foot Meyers Leonard on Monday, also, to a 10-day contract.
Antetokounmpo is having another Mvp-caliber season, averaging a career-high 31.8 points per game to go with 12.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists.
He did not participate in the skills challenge on Saturday night due to the injury, but he told the Journal Sentinel it was important for him to appear on the court on Sunday.
“I wanted to be a part of it,” he told the Journal Sentinel. “I know I could play left-handed for like 10-, 20-seconds.”
Antetokounmpo has missed 11 games to date this season with knee soreness, and the Bucks have gone 6-5 in those games.