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Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks concerned as two-time MVP suffers calf injury

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers and guard Damian Lillard spoke of their concern after Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a calf injury during Tuesday’s 104-91 win over the Boston Celtics.

While attempting to head up the court in the third quarter, Antetokounmpo dropped to the floor with nobody around him and grabbed the back of his left leg.

With the Bucks calling a timeout, the two-time NBA MVP had to be helped from the floor by his team-mates and was officially ruled out in the fourth quarter with a strain of the soleus, a muscle in the calf.

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While the Bucks managed to see out a morale-boosting win over their league-leading visitors, Antetokounmpo’s condition was the main topic of post-game discussion with the playoffs looming.

Asked to rate his level of concern over Antetokounmpo with just three regular-season games remaining, Rivers said: “High, I would say that.

“He’s Giannis. I think everyone probably feels the same way as I do right now. We’re just going to hope for the best.”

Lillard also suffered a soleus injury while playing for the Portland Trail Blazers last season, causing him to miss around two weeks of action.

“I know that feeling,” Lillard said. “Any time you see one of your team-mates go down, I think it’s a real level of concern.

“We spend a lot of time around each other, more than we do with our families, I think that was the number one thing.

“Then for it to be your best player, the most important part of our team at this point in the season… it was an, ‘oh, damn’ moment, especially because there was nobody else around.”

Antetokounmpo has missed three games since mid-March due to a left hamstring injury, also missing a game at the start of that month after suffering from tendinitis in his left Achilles.

The Bucks have only been able to field star trio Antetokounmpo, Lillard and Khris Middleton together five times in their last 30 games, with all three players dealing with niggling injuries in recent weeks.

Middleton believes Milwaukee must adopt a cautious approach to Antetokounmpo’s fitness ahead of the postseason, saying: “We’re going to need him.

“If he’s got to rest, he’s got to sit out these next couple of games to be ready for the playoffs. We need him to be as close to 100 per cent as he can be.”

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