Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is reportedly expected to return on Saturday vs. the Cavaliers or Monday vs. the Pistons after missing the Bucks’ last four games with left knee soreness.Antetokounmpo has played 35 of 44 games this season, missing approximately one of every five contests while nursing recurring left knee soreness. Antetokounmpo suffered an apparent knee sprain on Jan. 11 that, while not individually worrisome, was the latest in a string of hyperextensions and awkward landings that has done cumulative damage on his left knee, according to the Pro Basketball Docs.pic.twitter.com/uyEQLKIqxy— SIC injury vids (@sicinjuryvids) January 15, 2023 Because of his injury history and full-tilt playing style Antetokounmpo will need to exercise caution, which will likely include more precautionary missed games and could land him in a bulky knee brace that he has fervently eschewed to this point. Giannis Antetokounmpo Left Knee Injury HistoryOn March 6, 2020, the 28-year-old suffered a left capsule sprain – as he described it, “there's a thing that protects you when you hyperextend [your knee] that doesn’t let you go all the way back” – merely days before COVID upended the season. pic.twitter.com/ZGAIYp0KfN— SIC injury vids (@sicinjuryvids) January 19, 2023 After the layoff and bubble restart, Antetokounmpo dealt with lingering soreness in March and April of 2021 that caused his longest career absence, still only six games. The six-time all-star went down with a disastrous left knee hyperextension in the Eastern Conference Finals that could have easily been a more significant injury. The Pro Basketball Docs assert that the injuries in 2020 and 2021 likely created residual scar tissue and laxity that protected his ligaments and helped him avoid structural damage. pic.twitter.com/A0d8JwJIiw— zach engberg (@nealberg96) January 19, 2023 Merely one week later, Antetokounmpo started Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals and helped Milwaukee win its first NBA championship since 1971. That gruesome hyperextension still created additional laxity, aka chronic looseness, that has left him more vulnerable to minor and significant left knee injuries, and that issue has bore itself out in at least three instances this season. The future HOFer is well aware of the danger he plays in, as reported by Sam Amick: ‘If my leg had hyperextended one more time,’ he said while smacking his hands together, ‘I was done.’ … with my mom and dad, when they were working back home (in Greece), they felt no pain… Why would I feel pain, you know? … That’s how I’m built. So even though [wearing a brace] was the right thing to do — no. The way of my mindset, that wasn’t for me.Antetokounmpo's issues aren’t exclusive to the left side: he missed a Greek National Team tournament in August 2017 with right knee soreness and dealt with intermittent flare-ups over the next three seasons, although it was reportedly the result of wear-and-tear and not one specific injury.Giannis Antetokounmpo NBA Finals And MVP OddsThe Bucks' lifer has maintained his dominant stature when he is on the floor, averaging 31 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on a career-high 20.8 shots per game.Antetokounmpo's worst stretch, during which he scored 12.7 points on 34.4% shooting in 31.1 minutes, came just before he went to the bench and just after he suffered an apparent left leg injury on January 4. He has the fifth-best odds on FanDuel Sportsbook to win the MVP at +1000 and the Milwauke Bucks have the second-lowest odds to win the Finals at +550, in between the Celtics, +390, and Nuggets/Nets, +800.