Serge Ibaka may be returning from injury just in time for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The forward participated in a shootaround on Sunday and expects to play in the critical game 3. Ibaka had been out against the San Antonio Spurs with a left calf sprain.
If true, it would be quite a turnaround for Serge Ibaka, who was once expected to miss the entire postseason when he first went down May 15 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I’m trying to put my mind ready and if I’m going to feel better later, I’m going to go,” said Ibaka. “For now, we’re going to see if I feel better, because normally when you do this kind of workout, sometimes you can have pain later.
“It is my decision. At this point, it is my decision more than Coach [Scott Brooks] or the doctor. So it is my decision,” Ibaka said. “And like I said, I went through some offense and defense this morning with my teammates. I’m going to put some ice [on the calf] and see how I’m going to feel later.”
Serge Ibaka would bring a much needed defensive presence to the floor. The Spurs have attacked the Thunder defense, scoring often in the paint where Ibaka thrives. He also has a deft scoring touch, with a midrange shooting percentage of 50.1 that is highest in this postseason.
The Thunder are in a 2-0 hole this series and are looking at Game 3 as a must-win to keep their Finals hopes alive.
It’s not clear if Serge Ibaka has clearance from his team staff yet, but the forward said he’d be willing to play hurt if they give him the go-ahead.
“It’s 100 percent going to hurt,” he said Saturday. “For sure if the doctor gives me the OK and I feel better tomorrow, I will be 100 percent with the pain for sure, but like I said, I’m going to do whatever it takes to help my team.”
Serge Ibaka is officially listed as day-to-day, and is considered a gametime decision for Sunday’s Game 3.