HomeSportsGiannis Antetokounmpo misses FIBA ​​World Cup with Greece after knee surgery

Giannis Antetokounmpo misses FIBA ​​World Cup with Greece after knee surgery

Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to be fully available for the Bucks when the NBA season begins in October. (Pedja Milosavljevic/DeFodi Images/Getty Images)

Giannis Antetokounmpo will not play for Greece in the FIBA ​​World Cup this summer.

The Milwaukee Bucks star announced on Instagram on Friday that he will not play for the country in the tournament as he recovers from knee surgery. Due to the surgery, he was considered doubtful to play in the World Cup.

“After months of work and multiple meetings with medical staff, it is clear that I am not ready to compete at the level I need to compete in the World Cup,” Antetokounmpo wrote. “This was not a choice, but my only option to make sure I get back to the level of basketball I’ve worked so hard for so far in my career. I am extremely disappointed with this outcome, but this was a decision that, along with the medical staff has been taken.”

Antetokounmpo underwent surgery in June to clean the cartilage in his left knee. He returned to Greece two days later, but his status for the World Cup has been in doubt ever since.

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While Antetokounmpo is not yet ready to play for Greece, he is expected to be fully cleared to play for the Bucks when the NBA season wraps up in October.

Antetokounmpo last season with the Bucks averaged a career-high 31.1 points with 11.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists. He injured his back in the playoffs and missed two games in their opening round game against the Miami Heat. The Heat defeated the Bucks in the first round and reached the NBA Finals.

The 28-year-old will enter the third year of his five-year, $228 million deal with Milwaukee this fall.

Antetokounmpo is the last to withdraw from the World Cup. Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokić announced last month that he would not compete with Serbia in the tournament following their NBA title run.

The World Cup starts on August 25 in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. Seven teams will earn bids through the tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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Although Antetokounmpo will not be playing this summer, he is already looking forward to a return to international play and bringing the Greek team to France.

“I’m going to keep pushing myself to be ready for the next time my name is called,” Antetokounmpo wrote. “My personal and our ultimate team goal is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics and it will be an honor to represent my national team next year.”

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