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Giannis Antetokounmpo feared his knee injury was more serious

The reigning Kia MVP is hopeful he can return to the floor on Thursday

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledges he initially feared the knee sprain that has caused him to miss his last two games might be a much more serious injury.

“I was nervous right when I fell on the floor,” Antetokounmpo said Wednesday. “I was able to walk it off and play a few minutes and I felt better, but the next day I was extremely sore, so I was nervous.”

Antetokounmpo said he practiced Wednesday but remained uncertain over whether he would play Thursday against the Boston Celtics as the NBA-leading Bucks attempt to snap a season-worst three-game skid.

“I felt good, but at the end of the day, I’ve got to go, I’ve got to come back tomorrow and see how I feel tomorrow,” Antetokounmpo said. “I might go back home and my knee swells up. I don’t know.”

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said the team would remain careful.

“He looked good,” Budenholzer said. “Always, with something like this, you wait to see how it responds and how he comes in tomorrow. We’ll take it slowly. We’ll always probably err on the side of caution, but (it was) a good day for Giannis.”

Budenholzer said guards Eric Bledsoe (knee) and George Hill (groin) are expected to play Thursday. Bledsoe missed the Bucks’ last game and Hill has been out for four games.

Antetokounmpo took a hard fall late in a 113-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. Bucks officials said he underwent an MRI on Saturday and was diagnosed with a minor joint capsule sprain of the left knee.

“When I was on the floor, I was thinking this might be it,” Antetokounmpo said. “But thank God, I got the good training staff that trained me real well and prepared my body for all those types of falls and those types of moments. Thank God it wasn’t something really, really serious. I was happy. The team was happy. My family was happy.”