Giannis Antetokounmpo's MRI on Back Injury 'Clean' amid Practice for FIBA World Cup

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 22, 2022

Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has returned to practice for Greece's national team after an MRI on his back injury came back clean.

EuroHoops reported the update Sunday after the Greek Freak missed the team's final game of the Acropolis International Basketball Tournament on Friday.

Giannis is expected to travel with the national team for Sunday's 2023 FIFA Basketball World Cup qualifier against Serbia on Sunday, per EuroHoops.

Antetokounmpo is a two-time NBA MVP and one of the league's true cornerstone players, a status he cemented by helping lead the Bucks to the 2021 NBA title. He averaged 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals in 67 games last season.

The 27-year-old six-time All-Star has remained mostly durable throughout his nine seasons in Milwaukee. He missed time with knee, ankle, calf and quad injuries during the 2021-22 campaign, but none of them led to significant stints out of the lineup.

He's one of the NBA's most indispensable players, not only because of his talent but also because of the team's limited frontcourt depth. Journeymen Bobby Portis, Serge Ibaka and Brook Lopez lead the options for more minutes when he's sidelined.

Ultimately, the Bucks would have enough talent, led by Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, to handle a short-term injury for Antetokounmpo next season. It just can't afford a more serious setback.

For now, after a brief period of concern, it appears his offseason with the Greece national team will continue without issue.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.