The calf strain is worrisome for the Bucks with the playoffs approaching

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MILWAUKEE — Until 3:40 remaining in the third quarter of Tuesday’s game against the Boston Celtics, things were going well for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks announced Tuesday night that Antetokounmpo strained his left soleus, which is a muscle in the calf.
This season, the Bucks are 3-3 in games Antetokounmpo doesn’t play.
The soleus is one of two muscles that make up the calf, so teams will often refer to soleus strains as the more general calf strain, but there are instances where teams have specified that a player suffered from a soleus strain.
Lillard was first listed on the injury report with a right calf strain on Nov. 6, 2022, but he played through the injury until he eventually suffered a soleus strain a few weeks later.
“When I did it, I strained my calf and then I came back after like, I’d probably say, eight or nine days, I came back from the calf,” Lillard said.
“And then … I had the soleus injury like right after I came back.
The playoffs are just 10 days away, so Antetokounmpo’s timeline will depend entirely on the seriousness of the soleus strain, but Wednesday’s report that Antetokounmpo avoided an injury to his Achilles was welcome news for the Bucks.


MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks were winning the game against the Boston Celtics until 3:40 remained in the third quarter. The Bucks led the NBA’s lone 60-win team by 15 points midway through a four-game losing run.

And then misfortune happened.

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo crumpled to the ground without contacting any other player, then quickly grasped his left lower leg.

Then Antetokounmpo placed weight on his leg and wrapped an arm around the shoulders of teammates Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez after briefly sitting with teammates and a trainer encircling him. All by himself, Antetokounmpo eventually made his way back to the Bucks’ locker room.

Tuesday night, the Bucks revealed that Antetokounmpo had strained his left soleus, a calf muscle. The league sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic on Wednesday morning that Antetokounmpo avoided damaging his left Achilles tendon, which was the best-case scenario. His return will depend on the course of treatment and the strained calf’s rehab response.

The injury clouded Milwaukee’s win over Boston, which they won 104-91.

Damian Lillard, the point guard for the Bucks, was the player closest to Antetokounmpo when he saw the All-NBA power forward go to the floor. Lillard was bringing the ball up to start an offensive possession.

Lillard stated, “There’s a real level of concern anytime you see one of your teammates go down.”. “I believe the most important factor was that we spend a lot more time with each other than with our families. It was like a “Oh s—” moment when it turned out to be your best player, the most valuable member of our team at this stage of the season, especially since no one else was present.

And I stood next to him exactly. I simply observed his reaction, or rather, his facial expression. Needless to say, I became afraid. When he got up, I could tell he wanted to try to put weight on it because I knew we were going to call a timeout, so I just dribbled up to half court. He then placed some weight on him, and I noticed that. It seemed that his response to that almost brought him back down. However, he appeared to put weight on it. I then said, “All right.”. It appears to be stronger than I had anticipated. “.

And I think it taught me a lot that he could even get up and move around on his own. It is evident that seeing that was reassuring. All you want now is for him to get well. “.

Rivers concurred with Lillard that there is reason for concern regarding Antetokounmpo’s health going forward, particularly given that the NBA playoffs begin on April 20.

Rivers described his level of concern as “high, I would say that.”. “Yet he is Giannis.”. I believe that everyone is currently experiencing similar emotions to mine. We’ll just have to hope for the best. “.

Milwaukee’s record this season is now 48-31 after their victory on Tuesday. With three games left in the regular season, the Bucks are ahead of the Knicks by one game in the Eastern Conference’s second spot. The Bucks are worried about the standings more than just the tiebreaker they have over the Knicks.

The Bucks are also trailed by two games by the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers. With three straight losses and just three wins in their previous ten games, the Cleveland Cavaliers hold the division record tiebreaker over the Bucks. On the other hand, the Magic’s tiebreaker against the Bucks is uncertain as they play the team twice in the final three regular-season games: on Wednesday night in Milwaukee and on Sunday in Orlando for both teams’ regular-season finale.

The Thunder, whom the Bucks defeated in Oklahoma City on March 24, will be the team they play in between their games against the Magic. The Bucks are 3-3 this season when Antetokounmpo is not in the lineup.

Teams often refer to soleus strains as the more common calf strain because the soleus is one of the two muscles that make up the calf. However, there have been cases where teams have specifically stated that a player had a soleus strain. During Lillard’s tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers in the previous season, one of those incidents took place.

In response to a query from The Athletic regarding how it felt to suffer the same injury in the first month of the 2022–2023 season, Lillard said, “That s— hurt.”. “It hurt.”. I can usually brush things off after I’ve done them. I believe I have a high pain threshold, so when I started to walk, it wasn’t so much the pain that was excruciating, but rather the muscle’s inability to tolerate it.

It’s a strange feeling, but I believe that once it subsided, you managed to sort of limp around it. However, I recognize that feeling upon hearing that. Furthermore, that’s encouraging coming from someone who has experienced that, if that’s what it is. “.

Lillard’s calf strain that prevented him from playing earlier in the season was the reason behind his soleus injury. It was on November that Lillard’s right calf strain was first noted on the injury report. 6, 2022, but he continued to play despite the injury until a few weeks later, when he eventually developed a soleus strain.

When I did it, I strained my calf, and I returned from the calf after, I think, eight or nine days, Lillard said. And just after I got back, I had the soleus injury. I completed my soleus a few games after I got back. And it was roughly two weeks after that. It lasted for me about two weeks, after which I returned to play. “.

On November, Lillard’s right soleus strain was initially noted on Portland’s injury report. 20, 2022, and he did not return to action until the Trail Blazers’ December 20 matchup with the Indiana Pacers. Four, or about fourteen days following the first diagnosis.

Though the Bucks were relieved to learn on Wednesday that Antetokounmpo did not suffer an Achilles injury, the player’s recovery time will depend entirely on the severity of the strain, as the playoffs are only ten days away.

(Image of Giannis Antetokoumpo courtesy of Getty Images and Stacy Revere).

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