Oklahoma City Thunder star Serge Ibaka underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday and has been ruled out of action for between four and six weeks.
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The Thunder released an official news release to provide an update on the situation, with Ibaka undergoing the procedure in order to solve on-going knee soreness.
OKC general manager Sam Presti revealed that an evaluation of his condition determined that a specialist’s opinion was required, and together with the franchise’s medical staff, it was agreed that surgery was the best course of action.
Ibaka has been ruled out for up to six weeks, which puts his participation in the playoffs under threat as the regular season comes to an end in three weeks time.
The 25-year-old will naturally need time to work on his conditioning and re-integrate himself into the line-up, and that could cause problems in itself as it risks disrupting the chemistry that his replacements will undoubtedly work on in his absence.
Ibaka has recorded 17 double-doubles this season while averaging 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.42 blocks per game. He has established himself as the third option of the Thunder’s ‘Big Three’, but coach Scott Brooks’ roster has been decimated by injuries this year.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have both missed time, with the former still sidelined after undergoing a second foot procedure last month.
However, it was Ibaka’s absence in the Western Conference Finals which proved fatal to Oklahoma City’s chances against the San Antonio Spurs, and his defensive and offensive skills will be missed by the team in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, it isn’t yet certain that the Thunder will make the post-season given that they are just a half-game above the New Orleans Pelicans for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.