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Giannis Antetokounmpo Enters NBA’s Concussion Protocol

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Giannis will be out at least tonight’s tilt against the Raptors

NBA: Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get this out of the way, darn you Aaron Gordon for your whipping your stupid limbs around and harming Giannis Antetokounmpo. Now that Giannis has officially entered the NBA’s concussion protocol though, and will miss tonight’s game against the Raptors, what does it mean for him going forward?

First off, Giannis stating after the game on Saturday that he “probably blacked out”, but was allowed back into the game, should and did cause some concern among Bucks fans.

With that being said, what matters now is how long this could impede the Bucks’ superstar from playing again for Milwaukee. The NBA certainly logs concussions at a far lesser rate than its helmet-bashing cousin, the NFL, but it still requires the proper procedure to ensure no long-term damage befalls Giannis. Per this helpful article from last year about Kevin Love’s injury, here are some pertinent details about the NBA’s concussion protocol.

“According to the NBA’s concussion policy summary, a player who is diagnosed with a concussion cannot return to any type of basketball activity that day or the day after. He must then pass a series of requirements, including being free of concussion-related symptoms while resting, an examination by a physician, completing the league’s rigorous return to participation exertion protocol, then being signed off on by the director of the NBA concussion program.”

Love missed just one game in that incident in which he also lost a tooth. Love was evaluated later on in the playoffs as well for a concussion and missed one game there too. As far as we know, this would be Giannis’ first time through the concussion protocol, so one hopes that it won’t hold him out any longer than the Toronto game. Head injuries are tricky though, so nothing is set in stone, although a light week of games (Boston on Thursday, Sacramento on Sunday) bode well for his ability to rest.

Above all, let’s hope this doesn’t linger any longer than need be for Giannis and he returns to full health soon. Few things are scarier than what concussions can do to your body.

UPDATE

FWIW, the Bucks released a statement regarding Giannis within the protocol and him passing tests during Saturday night’s game that cleared him to return.