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Reporter shares injury update on Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo warming up

Oct 23, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) warms up before the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a back injury in Sunday’s Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat, but it sounds like he will be able to play through the ailment.

Antetokounmpo was injured after falling on his back while landing after a layup attempt late in the first quarter (video here). He came in and out of the game a couple of times afterward before exiting for good in the second quarter.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said after his team’s 130-117 loss that X-rays on Antetokounmpo’s lower back came back clean. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there is optimism that Giannis will be able to play in Game 2 on Wednesday. The injury could linger, however.

“It’s believed to be a pain tolerance issue that he’s got in his lower back,” Charania said. “The team wanted to play it safe. He tried to come back in the game and just felt discomfort. He didn’t look like himself and couldn’t walk by himself. … This is something that, even if he plays in Game 2, this is something that he’s going to be battling.”

Charania noted that Antetokounmpo has a ligament issue in his wrist as well, but neither nagging ailment is expected to sideline the two-time NBA MVP for very long.

The Heat also lost a key player on Sunday, so neither team will be at full strength going forward.

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