USATSI

Giannis Antetokounmpo recently missed six games due to an injury, and now, his status is up in the air yet again. The two-time reigning MVP drove to the basket in the first quarter against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, but stepped on the foot of Rockets big man Kelly Olynyk. He immediately fell to the floor in serious pain. He stayed in the game for his free throws and one more possession, but the Bucks called timeout from there and got him out of the game. He went to the locker room from there. Antetokounmpo was not even a lock to play in this game due to a previous ankle injury. He was listed as probable, but ultimately suited up. Then, he seemingly aggravated it on this fluke play.Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer didn’t reveal much after the game. “I think we’re hopeful that it’s not serious,” he told reporters. “We’ll see how he responds to treatment tonight, treatment tomorrow. Get an update at some point tomorrow.”The Bucks were three-and-a-half games out of the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference entering Thursday and are set to play two games against the top-seeded Brooklyn Nets on Sunday and Tuesday. If they win both, they would capture the tiebreaker over the Nets. They already have the tiebreaker over the Philadelphia 76ers, so getting it would put them in a strong position to earn home-court advantage. If Antetokounmpo isn’t healthy, though, that is obviously in jeopardy, and Thursday’s loss to the Rockets already did quite a bit of damage to their hopes of avoiding the No. 3 seed.

Thursday was hardly an ideal day for sports fans in Wisconsin. First, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reportedly told the team that he does not want to return next season. Now, their other MVP is dealing with this injury. Antetokounmpo will almost certainly return before Rodgers does, but with the playoffs growing closer by the day, the Bucks can’t afford to be without their best player for any extended period of time.