Injury Notes: Giannis, Butler, Bulls, Pelicans/Kings

After Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that the Bucks are preparing to be without Giannis Antetokounmpo for the start of their first round series against Indiana, Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed on Thursday on Stadium’s Playoff Preview show (Twitter video link) that the star forward’s status “is still in doubt” for the series.

“He has been rehabbing daily with that strained calf, getting treatment,” Charania said. “He has had even some stationary workouts on the court, but he is doubtful to start the series. I’m told this injury could be anywhere from two to four weeks, potentially. We know his superhuman ability, but that clearly puts his status for this series in jeopardy.

“The Bucks (and) Giannis have to have some level of caution in being careful with this calf injury. Already this season, Giannis has had Achilles tendinitis, a hamstring injury as well, and now this calf strain. The last thing (they) would want is for him to get back, rush on the floor with a calf injury, not being 100% and then potentially tweaking that or leading to even worse injuries.”

Crucially, Charania didn’t clarify whether or not the two-to-four-week timeline he cited applies retroactively — Antetokounmpo has been sidelined since April 9 as a result of the injury, so he has already been out for 10 days. Assuming the projected recovery timeline described by Charania began on the date of the injury, the two-time MVP still has a chance to play at some point in round one.

Here are a few more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Jimmy Butler‘s agent Bernie Lee took exception with Thursday’s reports that his client would miss several weeks as a result of his knee injury, suggesting that they were premature, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald relays (via Twitter). “We’re going to see the doctor later today,” Lee said on Thursday afternoon, “and it just blows my mind that somebody that wasn’t in the arena has somehow come up with a medical timeline of something that literally four of us, one is the person that got hurt, and me, the person that has conversations with everything, that everything gets filtered through. We don’t even know and now we’re having to live in someone else’s created reality of you know something that I didn’t know.” The Heat subsequently confirmed that Butler had sustained an MCL sprain, though the team didn’t offer any sort of timeline beyond ruling him out for Friday’s play-in game. MCL sprains are typically multi-week injuries.
  • Bulls role players Alex Caruso (left ankle sprain), Ayo Dosunmu (right quad contusion), and Andre Drummond (left ankle sprain) have all been listed as questionable for Friday’s play-in game vs. Miami. Dosunmu and Drummond, who were also both listed as questionable for Tuesday’s contest, seem like relatively safe bets to play, while Caruso is expected to be a game-time decision.
  • There are no surprises on the Pelicans/Kings injury report for Friday, though the absences on each side are notable. Zion Williamson (left hamstring strain) is the only New Orleans player sidelined, while Sacramento is missing Malik Monk (right knee sprain) and Kevin Huerter (left shoulder surgery).
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