MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo's injured left knee has no structural damage following a fall during Tuesday's Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks. The Milwaukee Bucks added Wednesday that it is unlikely Antetokounmpo will attend Game 5.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports Antetokounmpo's ligaments are sound, citing sources.
The Bucks said in a statement soon after that Antetokounmpo will be listed as doubtful for Game 5 against the Hawks Thursday night.
Antetokounmpo underwent an MRI and examination Wednesday by team physician Dr. Carole Vetter of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, the Bucks said. The MRI confirmed the earlier diagnosis of an hyperextended left knee.
There is no structural damage to Giannis Antetokounmpo's left knee after his awkward landing last night in Atlanta; ligaments are sound, sources tell @ZachLowe_NBA and me. Timetable to return is unclear.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2021
With about 4 minutes left in the third quarter, Giannis jumped up to contest a play at the rim and grabbed his knee right away when he fell.
The Bucks star then walked to the locker room, walked back to the bench for several minutes and then returned to the locker room.
Christopher Simenz, a professor of physical therapy at Marquette University, says the news that Giannis hyperextended his knee but that there doesn’t appear to be structural damage is the best of many bad scenarios.
"When they say there's no structural damage, that’s really good. That’s a positive sign, meaning while he may have stretched that tissue, he didn’t tear that tissue," said Simenz.
But as for recovery time, Simenz says it doesn’t look good for Giannis returning to this series.
"When you have an injury of this severity, it’s typically weeks before somebody returns to action," said Simenz.
Fans were taking in the news at Skybox Sports bar on MLK Drive in Milwaukee.
"As a Bucks fan, when you see our star player go down, I was hurt because I felt like the Bucks, I’m not saying they can’t win without him, but he’s a major part of them winning," said Elizabeth Palmer.
Ultimately fans want to see Giannis heal up and come back to the team when he’s ready, even if that means missing the finals.
"Definitely the key to the team. I hope his knee do heal, he comes back and be healthy," said Tyre Elis.
"I didn't really notice at first when he hit the ground until they started the replays," said Dr. Mark Wichman.
Dr. Mark Wichman, an orthopedic surgeon at Aurora Healthcare and team physician for the Milwaukee Admirals, says it's not uncommon for people to hyperextend their knees without damaging their ligaments.
"There are some people who naturally hyperextend their knees some more than others," said Wichman.