When Serge Ibaka initially prepared to heal his knee on March 16th, the expectation was that he would be ready for the post-season. It appears things have gone awry. From Scott Brooks' exit interview with the media:
Reporter: "How close is Serge to being able to play, and what's his status right now, how's he feeling?"
Brooks: "He's still in the middle of his rehab process. He wouldn't have been able to play the first couple of games, for sure. More than likely wouldn't have played in the first round.
But he's improving every day. He's continuing to finish up his rehab and improve also coming back next year. That's another bright spot. Serge is a worker. He works every day and comes back better every Summer. He was playing his best basketball. His last stretch of games, 10 or 12 games he was averaging nearly 20 and 10. The last 18 games, missing Serge, that was a tough setback that we had to overcome. Didn't quite overcome it."
Given that Ibaka recovered from a calf injury really quickly during last year's playoffs, this news could be seen as troubling. But it also could be seen as encouraging. Ibaka admitted that he played at less than 100% with the calf injury last year. Ibaka even had to miss a preliminary round game for Spain that fall, due to persisent swelling in his calf. So perhaps it's better now that there's no pressure for him to return to action. Until September's Eurobasket, at least.
More: Ibaka Injury Timeline