Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Bucks' Joe Prunty believes Giannis Antetokounmpo returns 'sooner rather than later'

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The Milwaukee Bucks were delivered a blow when it was announced that Giannis Antetokounmpo wouldn't be playing in their Friday night game against the Chicago Bulls, but their head coach has provided a sign of optimism about the situation.

The Bucks managed to defeat the Bulls 118-105 at the United Center in Chicago last night, with Shabazz Muhammad shining on the night while The Greek Freak was on the sidelines injured.

Antetokounmpo missed Friday's game against Chicago due to the right ankle sprain he suffered on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. He did not travel with the team, and he also had an MRI on his ankle recently.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty said that he wasn't concerned that his All-Star forward would miss a lot of time, but at the same time, he's unsure on the date of his return. What he does believe though is that he'll be back 'sooner rather than later.'

Prunty said on The Greek Freak's injury to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “In all honesty, I can’t give you an honest answer and say this is exactly when he’s coming back, but I believe it will be sooner rather than later.”

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers

Antetokounmpo's ankle injury occurred during the second quarter of Wednesday night’s 127-120 loss to the Clippers when he was accidentally trodden on by point guard Austin Rivers. He tried to play through the pain for about a minute but was unable to stay on the court.

Although it looks like The Greek Freak will only be out of the Bucks lineup for a short amount of time, it comes at a bad time for the team as they look to secure a place in the playoffs. Following their win on Friday, the eighth-placed Milwaukee is still has a solid gap of six games between themselves and the ninth-placed Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers

Bucks forward Khris Middleton said of Antetokounmpo: "He's our main guy. The attention he creates on the offensive end, we definitely missed that throughout the whole game when he was out. We’re a team, so when he goes out we can’t give up. We know what we can do as a team, and tonight we just didn’t do it.”

The Bucks will be looking to continue driving forward towards securing back-to-back seasons in the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 and 2003 seasons with another win on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs. 

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Eric Bledsoe
Phoenix Suns
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Milwaukee Bucks
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Jabari Parker
Khris Middleton

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