Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka was considered done for the season after he strained his left calf in the final game of the Thunder-Clippers semifinals series. In his absence, the San Antonio Spurs have taken a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
However, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ibaka has undergone a series of tests, and could possibly play in Sunday's game 3 of the series:
Ibaka went through a battery of tests on Thursday and his calf responded well. He injured the calf during Game 6 of the Thunder's second-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, after which team officials declared him out for the remainder of the postseason.
Despite the prognosis of a four-to-eight-week time frame for the injury to heal, Ibaka had pushed to return, believing he could play through the pain.“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 statement.
Presti went on to state that Ibaka's status will now be listed as day-today, and he also noted that Ibaka has “yet to complete a full basketball workout” and that his activity is currently limited to "walking and light basketball drills."
There are still 48 hours between now and Sunday's game, but the fact that Ibaka has yet to complete a full workout probably means that his minutes on the court would be extremely limited, and he obviously could be risking injuring himself much further. OKC would greatly benefit from a healthy Ibaka in this series, but it's questionable how much of an impact an injured Ibaka with limited minutes could make.
Hypothetically, let's say Ibaka returns on Sunday and somehow the Thunder mount a comeback and are able to make it to the NBA finals (which I don't think will happen since the Spurs are playing too well right now, but just pretend). Will Ibaka be able to sustain a productive level of play through the finals? OKC would definitely need him if they were to face Miami in the finals, otherwise, it could get really ugly.
I would love to see Ibaka make a return for this series, but I just question how much he will be able to contribute until his injury has healed further, as he currently hasn't even completed a full basketball workout.
What are your thoughts? Would you play Ibaka in game 3 if you are Scott Brooks, even if his health is questionable? Sound off in the comments.Danielle Hobeika 5/23/2014 03:05:00 PM Tweet Edit