NORMAN — Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks declared last week after his team lost Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals that Serge Ibaka was not coming through those doors.
Brooks and rest of the franchise had to pull back on that statement Friday when the team announced Ibaka had been upgraded to day-to-day.
“We’ve upgraded Serge’s status from being ruled out to being day-to-day,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said. “We’re really pleased with the progress that he’s made. We’re excited for him knowing how hard he’s worked.”
However, both Presti and Brooks both said the upgrade doesn’t mean Ibaka will play at any point this postseason. It just mean they can no longer definitively say he will not.
“It’s changed from that he’s going to be out to now it’s day-to-day,” Brooks said. “But he’s still out. We are still focusing on trying to beat the Spurs without him playing. That has not changed. I know he’s listed as day-to-day, but he is out until I’m told differently.”
Ibaka injured his calf during Game 6 of the conference semifinals against the Los Angels Clippers. The next day he was ruled to have Grade 2 calf strain. At that time Presti said Ibaka would miss the rest of the postseason because recovery of such an injury was a long process.
Seven days later, Presti was left to explain the abrupt turnaround.
“Obviously, we’re really pleased with the progress that he’s made,” Presti said. “We’re excited for him. We know how hard he has worked in a short amount of time to give himself every opportunity to improve. At the same time we’re surprised that we’re here, although grateful that he’s made enough progress for us to say that he’s not ruled out. I think it’s important when you look at this to recognize that we’re not saying that he’s playing, but we’re really trying to indicate that the information is telling us that we can’t rule him out.