Giannis Antetokounmpo is ‘extremely disappointed’ as he will miss the FIBA World Cup with Greece

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been close to the Greek national team this summer, expecting to recover quickly from his latest clean up surgery on his knee. However, this Friday it was confirmed that the Milwaukee superstar will be missing the upcoming FIBA World Cup as he’s not yet fully healed and was advised to not risk his situation.

The Bucks foward was the first to announce the news on his own social media platform, explaining that he lost the race against time even though it was his dream to represent Greece this month.

“Everyone knows my passion and love for my National Team has and never will change. Since the conclusion of my NBA season, I have been pushing my body to the limits to be the player I need to be to help our team achieve the goals we set.

But after months of work and multiple meetings with medical staff, it is clear that I am not ready to compete at the level that I need to be to participate in the World Cup. This was not a choice but my only option in ensuring I get back to the level of basketball I have worked so hard to achieve so far in my career,” he wrote in a statement.

The 28-year-old said that he’ll have to wait until next year to wear the Greek jersey again, after his decision to skip the World Cup was accepted after by his Federation’s health unit as well as the Bucks medical staff.

“I am extremely disappointed in this outcome, but this was a decision made by the medical staff,” he assured. “I’m going to continue to push myself to be ready for the next time my name is called. My personal, and our ultimate team goal is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics Games, and it will be an honor to represent my National Team next year.”

Giannis underwent an arthroscopy on his knee on July 5 and is yet to recover, as he’d remained doubtful for the international competition which starts on August 25.

Antetokounmpo endured a few injuries last season and won’t risk falling back before returning to training camp in Milwaukee next month

The Bucks superstar dealt with a few recurrent injuries last season, and even missed out on several stretches due to his left knee soreness. This past NBA campaign Giannis appeared in 63 games and averaged 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

Last time he represented Greece was in last year’s FIBA EuroBasket, where his nation failed to beat Germany in the quarterfinals, even though he became the first Greek athlete since 1987 to score at least 25 points in every contest of the competition.

Check out his highlights from this tournament where he averaged 29.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists over six matches:

During this upcoming edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Greece is set to play against Team USA, Jordan, and New Zealand as part of Group C to be held in Manila, Philippines.

If the European nation advances to the Second Round, they should meet the winners of Group D, which consists of Montenegro, Egypt, Mexico, and Lithuania.