Giannis Antetokounmpo: Superstar provides update on injured knee

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20: (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20: (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

I’m sure every Milwaukee Bucks fan remembers the dread they felt when they saw Giannis Antetokounmpo grabbing his left knee in the Eastern Conference Finals. Thankfully Antetokounmpo avoided a serious injury and we all know the rest, he went on to have a historic NBA Finals performance and captured the championship and Finals MVP.

As we enter the season, however, there is still some question about the Bucks’ superstar’s knee. The offseason was already shortened due to how late the season started last year but it was made even shorter by the Bucks winning the championship, so Antetokounmpo hasn’t had time to fully rest and recover as he would normally have.

The concerns around his knee were heightened when Antetokounmpo told Greek television station COSMOTE TV that he was still dealing with the injury.

"“I shouldn’t have played in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. I was in a lot of pain. I’m still hurting. But I’ll be okay.”"

That’s not exactly what you want to hear from your team’s superstar player just a few days before training camp. The last thing you want is for Antetokounmpo to be hurt or limited going into the regular season. At media day, Antetokounmpo was asked about his knee and about his comments in that interview with the Greek TV channel.

"“I feel good. Obviously, I gotta do my treatment like always. Take care of my body and just manage it. There’s no rush for me here. I’m good to go, but if I feel pain again or whatever the case might be, I have to listen to my body. When you feel pain, it’s your body telling you. It’s protecting you. You can’t go anymore. I’ve played through pain. I don’t think now is the time to risk that. It’s too early in the season, but at the end of the day, I feel good physically, mentally. I’ll do whatever I have to do to be 100 percent.”"

It’s obvious that Antetokounmpo will be dealing with the nagging aftereffects and pain in his left knee for some time. It’s no secret that Antetokounmpo has dealt with nagging knee injuries the last few seasons, he’s missed games for rest multiple times and have been able to manage his injuries perfectly fine. But what does this mean for his availability in training camp and looking ahead to the beginning of the season?

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo provides an update on his left knee

Antetokounmpo was also asked if he would be fully available to participate in five-on-five workouts right away in training camp, but that remains unclear.

"“I’ll go five-on-five today if I have to, but yeah, I don’t know about tomorrow. Tomorrow is tomorrow. If I wake up and my body feels good enough to leave this media day and I go back to the gym and my body still feels good, I’m able to work out, then yeah, I’ll go five-on-five. But we’ll see. We’ll see how I wake up tomorrow. We’ll see how my body feels.”"

The Bucks have been very careful with injuries and injury management over the last few years, it has been a staple of the Mike Budenholzer era, and it appears they’ll have to take things slowly with Antetokounmpo in the early portions of training camp and perhaps the regular season.

Budenholzer told reporters that Antetokounmpo did not participate in five-on-five workouts in the first day of training camp on Tuesday. It’s no surprise considering how cautious the Bucks tend to be with any injury, but especially so with their franchise player.

Although it doesn’t sound like something serious, it’s going to be about how the Bucks can manage his workload throughout the season. I already expected the team to be more lenient with rest days and sitting players for games as they’ve done multiple times over the last few years, but Antetokounmpo might get even more rest than some of his teammates.

Luckily for the Bucks and Antetokounmpo, this is the point of the season where you can be extra cautious and take things slower than you might in the middle of the season or near the end of it. The Bucks are obviously one of the favorites to win the championship, so there isn’t much pressure to have a 70-win regular season and that’s what we saw last year as well.

They realize that the regular season is about experimenting, resting, and getting the team ready for playoff basketball. The Bucks are in a position where they can allow Antetokounmpo to really rest up and be ready for the regular season at his pace and when his body will allow him to be fully ready.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: 3 initial takeaways from opening media day. dark

It would be a bit of a surprise if Antetokounmpo plays in the Bucks preseason opener on the road on October 5th against the Memphis Grizzlies.