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Antetokounmpo leaves Bucks' game after non-contact injury

Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo - The Canadian Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo was undergoing testing on his left calf after leaving the Milwaukee Bucks' victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers said Antetokounmpo was undergoing an MRI exam on his calf and also would have his Achilles tendon tested.

Antetokounmpo was heading up the court after a 3-point basket by Boston’s Derrick White late in the third quarter when the two-time MVP grabbed his left calf and took a seat on the floor before being helped off the court.

“Any time you see one of your teammates go down, it’s I think a real level of concern,” Bucks guard Damian Lillard said. “We spend a lot of time around each other, more than we would our families. I think that was the No. 1 thing. And then for it to be your best player, the most important part of our team, at this point in the season, it was like an, ‘Oh, (damn)’ moment, especially because there was nobody else around.”

Lillard noted that he was encouraged by seeing Antetokounmpo put weight on his leg after the injury.

Bucks officials said Antetokounmpo had a left soleus strain. The soleus is a muscle in the calf.

The injury comes just as the Bucks are gearing up for the playoffs. The Bucks have three games remaining in the regular season.

“We're going to need him, so if he's got to get rest, if he's got to sit out these (next) couple of games to be ready for the playoffs, we need him to be as close to 100% as he can be,” Bucks forward Khris Middleton said.

Lillard noted he dealt with a similar injury last season while playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard recalled that he came back from a calf injury after about eight or nine days, only to hurt his soleus. Lillard said he then ended up missing about two more weeks.

“I know that feeling," Lillard said.

Antetokounmpo has missed three games since mid-March with tendinopathy in his left hamstring. He also missed a game on March 4 with left Achilles tendinitis.

This had been just the fifth time in the last 30 games that the Bucks had Antetokounmpo, Lillard and Middleton all available.

Now they have to worry about how long it will take before all three are together on the floor again.

Rivers was asked after the game about his concern level.

“High, I would say that,” Rivers said. “He’s Giannis. I think everyone probably feels the same way as I do right now. We’re just going to hope for the best.”