Ibaka suffered calf strain in series-clinching win over Clippers.
Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka has been listed as day-to-day and could return for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs have cruised to a 2-0 series lead in the absence of the Spaniard, exploiting the Thunder’s weaknesses on the defensive end without him as well as benefiting from the lack of a third scoring option to support Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The likes of Tony Parker have been sceptical since the news initially broke and were still expecting Ibaka to return despite the severity of the injury, and it appears as though he could be right.
“We’re surprised that we’re here, although grateful that he’s made enough progress to say he’s not ruled out,” general manager Sam Presti said of Ibaka, as reported by ESPN.
“I think it’s important, when you look at this, to recognize that we’re not saying that he’s playing, but what we’re really trying to indicate is that the information is telling us that we can’t rule him out.”
Ibaka suffered a Grade 2 strain of the plantaris in Game 6 of the Western Conference semi-finals against the Los Angeles Clippers on May 15.
It is understood that the injury requires a significant amount of rest time due to the high risk of re-injury, but with the swelling reducing, the Thunder forward could be back sooner than expected with his team desperate to have him back on the floor.
The Spurs won the first two games by a combined 52 points, scoring 66 points in the paint in Game 1 and they have shot 78 percent inside for the series.
Ibaka has reportedly participated in light shooting drills but has not gone through a full practice or any contact drills as of yet with Game 3 taking place in Oklahoma City on Sunday night.