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Oklahoma City Thunder: Serge Ibaka's recovery process likely not the norm

On the day he announced that Serge Ibaka might be able to play after all in the Western Conference Finals, might be able to help the Thunder against the Spurs, maybe Presti was feeling like a lot of Thunder fans. Maybe he was a little giddy.
by Jenni Carlson Published: May 23, 2014

Who knows how much the technology has evolved since then? Earlier in these playoffs, Russell Westbrook was spotted before a game in MC Hammer-like pants. They were a different style of compression garment, presumably meant to help keep his repaired knee in tip top shape.

And hey, if you really want compression, how about a hyperbaric chamber? The pressurization stimulates blood flow, which decreases inflammation. Who’s to say Serge didn’t stay in Oklahoma City while the team went to San Antonio so he could sleep in one of those babies?

Michael Phelps did it a few years ago, then won four golds at the 2012 Olympics.

Most normal people aren’t wearing Hammer compression pants or hanging out in a hyperbaric chamber, though I did discover hyperbaric chambers for sale on Amazon. Only $5,495. Seems like a steal of a deal for an NBA team trying to rehab its defensive stalwart.

Last on the list when rehabilitating a muscle strain is elevation. Frankly, this only adds to the hyperbaric chamber theory since things create high-altitude conditions, like sleeping at 8,000 feet.

Oh, we’re talking about a different type of elevation?

Well, Serge can prop up that leg up on a pillow stuffed with hair from a unicorn and feathers from a phoenix.

Again, normal people stuff.

Listen, I have no idea what treatments the Thunder used with Ibaka. Friday morning, I asked Presti a couple different ways about the steps that the team took, and each time he swatted away the questions like he hopes Ibaka soon treats Spur shots.

“When these things happen,” Presti said, “there’s a program that gets put in place.”

What does that involve?

“It’s getting to the point where he’s being put in game-like conditions when he’s capable of that to replicate those situations on the floor.”

Yes, but how he’s gotten to that point is a mystery that the Thunder isn’t interested in sharing. (The Spurs would content that there’s no mystery, that this was all cloak-and-dagger stuff, that Ibaka was coming back all along. Gregg Popovich even joked about it Friday, saying, “I know Sammy” becoming perhaps the first person in the history of the world to call Presti by that name.)

By the way, WebMD says that once a muscle strain has healed, one of the next steps in preventing another injury is to start an exercise program.

Hey, Serge, what about Sunday evening at The Peake? A little running and jumping and swatting shots into the fifth row perhaps?

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at