OKLAHOMA CITY, USA – The Oklahoma City Thunder’s NBA playoff hopes suffered a blow on Friday when they announced forward Serge Ibaka will likely miss the remainder of the post-season with a calf injury.
The team issued a statement saying Ibaka underwent an MRI exam after injuring his left calf in the third quarter of their second round series-clinching victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
The Thunder, led by NBA Most Valuable Player and scoring champion Kevin Durant, are due to open the Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, with a place in the NBA Finals championship series on the line.
“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.”
Ibaka, a Congolese-born Spaniard, is averaging 12.2 points on 69-of-112 (.616) shooting from the field, 7.3 rebounds and 2.23 blocks in 13 post-season games.
During the 2013-14 regular season, Ibaka notched career-highs with 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds a game while leading the league in total blocked shots for the fourth consecutive season with 219.
Ibaka, 24, is the son of two basketball players. His father played for the Republic of Congo and his mother played for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ibaka moved to France and Spain as a teen and helped Spain capture Olympic silver at the 2012 London Games behind a US squad that included Durant. – Rappler.com