Giannis Antetokounmpo Ruled out for Bucks vs. Pacers with Knee Injury

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo plays against the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss Monday's game against the Indiana Pacers due to a knee sprain, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

He played 34 minutes in the Bucks' last game Saturday, finishing with 26 points and 15 assists in a win over the San Antonio Spurs.

The 26-year-old has mostly been able to avoid major injuries in his career but did miss one game earlier this season due to back spasms

An ankle injury limited him in the playoffs last year, while he played just 63 of 73 possible regular-season games in 2019-20. However, the forward never missed more than 10 games in any of his first seven years in the NBA.

Keeping Antetokounmpo healthy is obviously key for Milwaukee considering the impact he makes on the court.

He won his second straight MVP Award last season after averaging 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, adding the Defensive Player of the Year Award. He has followed it up this year with 29.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game as the Bucks try to live up to their lofty expectations.

Milwaukee will likely stay cautious with a player who signed a $228 million extension before the start of the season, but the squad will hope Antetokounmpo will be back to full strength before long.

Khris Middleton usually takes on a bigger offensive role with Giannis unavailable, while Bobby Portis can see more playing time in the frontcourt.