The Milwaukee Bucks will be getting their MVP back Monday night as Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to return for against the Miami Heat of their first-round playoff series, per The Athletic. Antetokounmpo missed the previous two games of the series due to a back contusion he sustained in the first quarter of Game 1. Antetokounmpo was seen getting shots up during shootaround Monday morning with the Bucks, a great sign that the pain in his back has subsided.
The two-time MVP sustained the injury in Game 1 when he took a swing pass from Joe Ingles and drove hard to the rim. As he took off to attempt a shot from just outside the charge circle, Kevin Love slid underneath in an attempt to take a charge. Antetokounmpo had his legs taken out in the process and crashed hard to the floor on his lower back.
Love was called for a blocking foul, and Giannis remained in the game to shoot his free throws. He stayed in the game for several more minutes before taking his regular break at the end of the first quarter, but he went straight back to the locker room.
The Bucks star checked back into the game a few minutes into the second quarter, however he only lasted a minute and checked right back out. He walked back to the locker room again, and was shortly after ruled out for the game.
With Milwaukee down 2-1 in the series to the Heat, getting Giannis back is a significant boost for the top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks have sorely missed Antetokounmpo on both ends of the floor, especially in the half-court offense. Without him initiating offense and drawing multiple defenders as he barrels towards the rim, it makes Milwaukee's offense more stagnant. If Antetokounmpo is 100% healthy, then the Bucks are in a great position to climb out of this early series hole.