Thunder upgrade Serge Ibaka's status to 'day-to-day'

Serge Ibaka's season may not be over just yet. And with that news, the Thunder's outlook just got a bit brighter.

by Anthony Slater Published: May 23, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) carries the ball off the court following the Thunder's win during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) carries the ball off the court following the Thunder's win during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Serge Ibaka runs faster than most humans. He’s built stronger, moves quicker and jumps higher.

So it’s not much of a surprise that, as we learned through a Thunder press release on Friday morning, Ibaka is also a quicker healer than most.

The Thunder’s All-Star forward, previously thought to be out for the season with a calf injury – “Serge is not coming back...He’s not walking through those doors,” a defiant coach Scott Brooks repeated in San Antonio – has been upgraded to “day-to-day.” General manager Sam Presti wouldn’t even rule out Ibaka making his return as early as Sunday’s pivotal Game 3 in Oklahoma City.

“The information that we've been working with, he's exceeded that,” Presti said. “We're excited about that. We're a little surprised by it, but you know, he does a lot of things at a level that are not normal.”

Despite some skepticism from the calculated and cautious Spurs – “I know Sammy,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “We knew he’d be back.” – this came as a surprise to most. Reports had surfaced earlier in the week that Ibaka was aiming for a postseason return, but it was not expected to be possible until at least the NBA Finals.

Upon return from San Antonio, though, the Thunder found a determined and improving Ibaka back in OKC. The swelling in his calf, which Presti said was “excessive” on the night of the injury, had subsided to a “substantial and unexpected” degree. He was already off the medical scooter, walking and ready for some light court activity.

“(The decrease in swelling allowed) for our clinicians and our medical staff to get a better understanding of the injury and the function that it was allowing him to perform,” Presti said.

So the Thunder put him through some medical tests and an on-court workout, which went smoothly enough, in their mind, to announce the upgraded status.


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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