Giannis Antetokounmpo hyperextended his left knee in the third quarter of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks.
The story of the NBA Playoffs has been superstar players lost to injury. The Milwaukee Bucks are now feeling that after Giannis Antetokounmpo contested a Clint Capella alley-oop and had his left knee buckle underneath him, hyperextending his knee and landing awkwardly and grimacing in pain on the State Farm Arena court.
How did Giannis injure his knee?
The Atlanta Hawks fans were hushed in silence as the two-time MVP laid on the court and was hobbling off the court. Giannis was able to walk off the court under his own power, which is an encouraging sign in the aftermath but is not a clear indication of his readiness to return to the game or if he’ll be unavailable for an extended time.
Giannis knee injury: Giannis had to be helped off the court by his brother Thanasis
Giannis knee injury: Giannis returns to Bucks bench
Giannis returned to the Bucks bench shortly after the scary fall. He did walk with a noticeable limp. The Bucks announced he will not return to the game.
Giannis knee injury: Out for Game 4
Shortly after returning to the Bucks bench, the team announced Giannis has been ruled out for the remainder of Game 4. The TNT broadcast relayed the news during the game.
Giannis knee injury: Will Giannis return to the Bucks lineup for Game 5?
Giannis is going to be listed as day-to-day. He may play in Game 5 depending on how he recovers overnight and how he responds to treatment between now and Thursday afternoon. He’s probably more likely questionable or doubtful for Game 5, but there is a chance he could be healthy enough to return in time for Game 6 or Game 7 pending the results of an MRI.
Giannis knee injury: Hyperextended knee recovery timeline
Typically, it takes one-two weeks to recover from a hyperextended knee injury. If there is any ligament damage, the recovery could take upwards of four-six weeks. This likely means Giannis is questionable at best to return for Game 5 on Thursday night. However, there is a chance he can return and pull a Willis Reed if the series goes six or seven games. His availability for a potential NBA Finals appearance should be promising depending on how he recovers in the next day or two and the results of an MRI.
Giannis knee injury: LeBron James, Patrick Mahomes react to play
Giannis is the latest superstar to be injured in the NBA playoffs
Giannis was already dealing with a sore calf before the knee injury. The NBA Playoffs have seen Trae Young, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis, among others, miss significant time due to injuries. The injuries have been a dark shadow over an intriguing postseason with new teams and new faces making headlines.