Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka underwent an MRI today that confirmed he suffered a left calf injury during the third quarter of Thursday night's series-clinching victory against the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced. Ibaka is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014 postseason.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti clarified in a conference call that Ibaka suffered a Grade 2 strain of the plantaris and that, due to a high risk for re-injuring the area, the recovery time will be lengthy, virtually eliminating any chance for a return even if the Thunder should advance to the Finals.
Ibaka averaged 12.2 points on 62 percent shooting from the field, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 13 postseason games. During the 2013-14 regular season, Ibaka notched career-highs with 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds, while leading the league in total blocks for the fourth consecutive season with 219.
"We are obviously disappointed for Serge, as he is a tremendous competitor, and we know how badly he wants to be on the court with his teammates," Presti said. "At this point it is important that our team directs its concentration and energy towards preparation and execution for our upcoming series. As with all teams, our group has confronted different challenges. It is our collective experience that we will call on to ensure that we play to our capabilities."
Ibaka missed only one game this past season, sitting out a Jan. 7 loss against Utah. In fact, since becoming a regular in the Thunder rotation midway through the 2009-10 season, he has only missed four games, including postseason play.
Ibaka had also been a matchup problem for the Spurs, averaging 14 points, 11.5 rebounds and four blocks in four victories against San Antonio this season.