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Is Serge Ibaka’s Knee Injury Going To Prevent The Thunder From Making The Playoffs?

Submitted by on March 18, 2015 – 1:14 pmNo Comment

The Oklahoma City Thunder just can’t seem to buy a break this season, can they? Throughout the year, all three of their star players, including Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka, have suffered injuries that have prevented them from playing at times. KD has actually missed large stretches of time twice, and Westbrook has been nicked up on several occasions throughout the year. But right now, Ibaka is dealing with a knee injury that could end up having the largest impact on the team moving forward.

The good news for the Thunder is that Ibaka’s right knee injury is considered minor. He’s been dealing with some swelling and general soreness in the knee for awhile now, and he doesn’t have any significant damage to it. But the bad news is that he just underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee to clean it out. It’ll help his knee feel better eventually. But it’s going to be anywhere from four to six weeks before Ibaka can get back on the court for the Thunder.

“Serge is a guy that always wants to be out on the floor, rarely misses time,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said on Tuesday. “But we felt like with where the symptoms were, we didn’t think it was going to be improving, and because of that, this was the necessary step.”

That four to six-week window could prove to be too much for the Thunder to overcome. At the moment, they are in a battle for the seventh and eighth seeds in the NBA Playoffs. The Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, and Phoenix Suns are all fighting for two playoff seeds and two teams are going to have to be left out. And one of those teams could end up being the Thunder, especially since they’re already playing without Durant and will now be without Ibaka for awhile.

If the Thunder do clinch a playoff spot, then there’s a chance Ibaka could return to the lineup for them and bring them back to full strength before their season is cut short. But for now, his health is a top priority in Oklahoma City. Because if he’s not able to play later this season, the Thunder could be in a lot of trouble.

Do you think the loss of Ibaka is going to prevent OKC from making the playoffs? Or will they be able to clinch a spot in the postseason without him?

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