Giannis Antetokounmpo is poised to miss his team’s final regular-season meeting with an established Eastern Conference rival. The two-time MVP is listed as doubtful for the Milwaukee Bucks’ matchup with the Miami Heat on Friday due to a right wrist injury.
Antetokounmpo suffered the injury early in his team’s pre All-Star victory over the Chicago Bulls last Thursday, leaving after just nine minutes of play. The All-Star Game captain took the floor for just one possession of the NBA’s midseason showcase, driving unencumbered for a dunk before intentionally fouling and exiting for good, wary of aggravating of his wrist injury.
“Taking it day by day, try to get healthy,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “You know, obviously I had the incident three days ago. I don’t think it’s smart in any way to, you know, play a lot of minutes in the All-Star Game. At the end of the day, obviously, you want to participate, you want to run up and down, joke around, have some dunks, create some work. But at the end of the day, I feel you also have to be mature.”
Antetokounmpo initially downplayed the extent of his malady, but further testing earlier this week revealed he’d torn ligaments in his wrist. Though his current injury designation isn’t final, it would be surprising if Antetokounmpo played against the Heat after recent reporting indicated he’d only return to the floor once pain in his wrist subsides.
Antetokounmpo has played in just one of his team’s previous three games versus Miami this season. The Bucks lost both games he missed, then beat the Heat by eight on February 4th as Antetokounmpo racked up 35 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.
Milwaukee and Miami tipoff at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Friday on ESPN.