The Oklahoma City Thunder released some bad news for both fans and players on Friday:
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka underwent an MRI today that confirmed he suffered a left calf injury during the third quarter of last night’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced. Ibaka is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014 postseason.
Ibaka is averaging 12.2 points on 69-of-112 (.616) shooting from the field, 7.3 rebounds and 2.23 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 blocked shots.
“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,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “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.”
In game six during the third quarter, Ibaka reacted quickly to block the shot, but tangled with Clippers, Chris Paul - bringing them both to the ground.
With only 7:24 remaining on the clock, the Thunder had to finished the game with out help from Ibaka.
What we know:
Serge Ibaka's injury isn't exactly common place.
Ibaka strained the plantaris muscle in his calf.
According to a Sports Injury Clinic post, the plantaris', "function is to assist the larger calf muscles in plantar flexing the ankle or pointing the foot down."
The post also says that the muscle actually doesn't even exist in 15 percent of the human population.
The Thunder haven't given a timeline on Ibaka's return, but he's expected to be ready for next season.
Although the Thunder will have to adjust to the game without Ibaka, this is not the first time the Thunder have lost a key player during playoffs.
Last year, Russell Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus in the first round against Houston.
Westbrook missed the rest of the playoffs after undergoing surgery in Colorado to repair the torn meniscus.
The Thunder are set to leave OKC this afternoon.
The Thunder will roll into San Antonio where they will take on the Spurs in Game one of the Western Conference Finals.
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. Monday.