Giannis Antetokounmpo Has Made 'Good Progress' in Injury Rehab, Per Budenholzer

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo "is making good progress" with his hyperextended knee as he hopes to work his way back for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, per head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Budenholzer's comments come on the heels of a report from Jared Greenberg of NBA TV, who said Antetokounmpo had made "significant progress."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Giannis is working out at a private gym to determine his status for Game 1 of the Finals, per @JaredSGreenberg He has made “significant progress” with his hyperextended knee (via @NBATV) https://t.co/SGLS5BSgap

Giannis is holding a workout in front of an "army of observers," per Greenberg, which includes team personnel, medical staff and people in his own camp. 

Milwaukee is set to face the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

The hearts of Bucks fans dropped when the two-time MVP left Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals with what appeared to be a potentially serious knee injury.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN reported Antetokounmpo didn't suffer any structural damage to his left knee, so it wasn't the worst-case scenario.

In spite of his absence, Milwaukee closed out the conference semifinals in six games, winning Games 5 and 6 by 11 points apiece.

That didn't diminish the 26-year-old's importance to the Bucks, though. He was the team's leading scorer (28.1 points) and rebounder (11.0) and finished second in assists (5.9) during the regular season. In the pressure cooker that is the NBA playoffs, Milwaukee needs to lean on its top talents even more.

Perhaps the Bucks can go on to win their second championship without Antetokounmpo for all or most of the series. But they're unquestionably a worse team until he returns, and that doesn't bode well against a Suns squad that has met every challenge before it so far.