Serge Ibaka injury status upgraded to day-to-day

May 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

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“So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder have changed the status of forward Serge Ibaka from being out of the playoffs to day to day, thereby unofficially announcing that there’s a chance he could play as soon as Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday in Oklahoma City (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT). Ibaka, the team’s top rebounder and shot-blocker, was ruled out because of a left calf injury from the Western Conference semifinals.

His absence has been disastrous in the Western Conference finals, as the San Antonio Spurs have rolled out to a 2-0 lead with consecutive home blowouts.

“The abundance of blood and therefore swelling in Serge’s calf has reduced substantially and unexpectedly, allowing a level of movement and stability not thought possible after the initial diagnosis,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a news release. “Based on both imaging and physical exam, the considerable swelling in the calf indicated the likelihood of a certain degree of injury, and that established the original time frame for recovery.

“At present, Serge has yet to complete a full basketball workout, but is walking and doing light basketball drills. With this new information, and in an effort to keep his status current, we are now listing him as day-to-day with the understanding that there is a possibility for him to play in this series.”

When asked later in a news conference about Ibaka possibly playing in Game 3, Presti added, “We can’t rule him out.”

Meanwhile in San Antonio, the Spurs were no doubt rolling their eyes at the whole affair considering they had warned us all that this might happen. From coach Gregg Popovich on down, they had refused to believe Ibaka would miss any time and were roundly ridiculed for being paranoid.

He even took a good-natured stab at Presti, who came up in the Spurs system under Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford before eventually running a team of his own.

“I’m shocked; I’m so surprised,” Popovich sarcastically told news reporters Friday. “We know Sammy. We knew he’d be back.”

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