Giannis Antetokounmpo returning to action after missing 2 games with hamstring issue

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo is back in the Milwaukee Bucks’ starting lineup Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets after missing two games with a left hamstring issue.

The two-time MVP had been out with what the team described as tendinopathy in his hamstring. Tendinopathy is pain that generally results from overuse.

Milwaukee still won’t be at full strength. Khris Middleton will rest one night after playing 33 minutes in a 122-119 loss at Boston, as the Bucks continue to manage his workload in his recovery from a sprained left ankle.

Middleton's ankle sprain had caused him to miss 16 straight games before returning Sunday in a 140-129 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

“He's been out all these games, and he's playing great,” Bucks coach Doc Rivers said before Thursday's game. “We just want to keep him where he's at.”

The Bucks haven't had their top three players — Antetokounmpo, Middleton and seven-time all-NBA guard Damian Lillard — all available for the same game since a Feb. 3 victory at Dallas.