Giannis Antetokounmpo once again cemented himself as one of the best players in the world by becoming the first player in league history to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds per game, shooting at least 60 percent from the floor. While he finished the regular season strong for the Milwaukee Bucks, putting together yet another MVP-like campaign, Giannis also finished the season on the sidelines due to a mysterious calf injury. Now, he finds himself attempting to work his way back onto the court for a potential return against the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.

When this injury first occurred on April 9 against the Boston Celtics, there was a lot of concern surrounding Giannis' status because of the way he suffered his non-contact left calf injury. Fortunately, there was no Achilles damage, and the Bucks diagnosed Antetokounmpo with a left calf strain, specifically dealing with the soleus muscle. Two full weeks have gone by since Antetokounmpo suffered this injury, and the Bucks have given very little information on his whereabouts.

After missing Game 1 against the Pacers, in which the Bucks defeated Indiana 109-94, Giannis ended up missing Game 2 on Tuesday night. The Bucks lost this game 125-108 on their home floor, surrendering home-court advantage to Indiana. With their first-round series all evened up at one game apiece, Antetokounmpo's status for the Bucks looms large over their championship hopes.

However, Giannis' status for Game 3 on Friday once again seems to be in doubt, as the superstar forward hasn't taken the proper steps needed to get back to full speed.

Latest on Giannis Antetokounmpo's potential return

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) sits on the bench with a calf injury in the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Fiserv Forum.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

While the Bucks have remained optimistic that Giannis will be back for this first-round series against the Pacers, his injury status continues to become more and more doubtful by the day. Currently on a two-to-four week timeline for his recovery, Antetokounmpo's availability truly depends on his response to treatment.

At this point, Antetokounmpo has started to do some stationary jump shooting, but he hasn't worked on any cutting, scrimmaging, or all-out running quite yet, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. Until he starts running and actually scrimmaging with the team, it is hard to envision a scenario in which the Bucks would throw Giannis out there on the court, regardless if it is a do-or-die scenario.

Antetokounmpo has dealt with injuries to his left hamstring, his left Achilles, and now his left calf. They can't take any chances of bringing their superstar back too soon; otherwise, he could wind up being ruled out for the remainder of the year.

The Bucks need Antetokounmpo on the floor if they are to be championship contenders. Without him, Milwaukee has major holes on the defensive side of the court, an area in which the Pacers exposed the Bucks during their 17-point blowout win in Game 2 on Tuesday. At this point, there is not much else the Bucks can do other than continue their around-the-clock treatment and hope for the best.

There is still no telling as to when Giannis will be able to return from this injury, but it is at least a somewhat step in the right direction that he's starting to do some jump shooting. It is safe to assume that Antetokounmpo will once again be listed as doubtful to play for Game 3 on Friday night in Indianapolis unless a miracle happens over the next 48 hours.