Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka will likely miss the remainder of the regular season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti said that Ibaka is expected to be sidelined between 4-to-6 weeks, putting the NBA All-Defensive Team member's availability for the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs in question should Oklahoma City qualify for the postseason.
Ibaka had sat out the Thunder's last three games due to lingering soreness in the knee.
"After monitoring the soreness in Serge's knee and having taken several intermediate steps to assess and manage the discomfort, it was determined that the necessary next step in the evaluation was to see a specialist to discuss options to help alleviate the soreness and swelling he had been experiencing," Presti said. "During the consultation with Dr. David Altchek, his recommendation, in agreement with Thunder medical personnel, Serge and his representatives, was for Serge to have arthroscopic surgery to remedy the problematic area."
The Thunder currently own just a half-game lead on New Orleans for the West's eighth and final playoff spot with 15 remaining in the regular season, which concludes at the low end of Ibaka's timetable on April 15.
Oklahoma City has dealt with a rash of injuries to key players throughout this 2014-15 campaign. Reigning league MVP Kevin Durant has been limited to just 27 games by a fractured right foot, star point guard Russell Westbrook missed nearly all of November with a broken right hand and starting center Steven Adams recently returned from a month-long absence caused by a fractured finger.
Ibaka has played in a team-high 64 games this season and ranks second in the NBA in blocks per game (2.42). The 25-year-old is averaging 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds as well.