Serge Ibaka might play in the Western Conference Finals after all

Ronald Martinez

The Thunder announced that their starting power forward is making a strong recovery from a calf injury and could return to the court at some point before the Western Conference Finals ends.

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Serge Ibaka might be heard from by the end of the Western Conference Finals after all. His left calf injury has improved to the point that the Thunder now consider him "day-to-day," and there is "a possibility" that he will play in the Western Conference Finals, the team announced.

A source of Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski went one step further, saying there's a "strong possibility" he plays in Sunday's Game 3.

This is a remarkable change from the team's rhetoric since the injury was announced last Friday. There was always a faint chance that Ibaka might recover from the injury and play, but the Thunder constantly shot this possibility down. After several Spurs raised eyebrows by proclaiming that they didn't believe Ibaka was really out for the series, Thunder coach Scott Brooks repeated that Ibaka was "not coming through those doors." Later, in response to a report that Ibaka was itching to return, Brooks repeated himself and added that there was "no reason" to keep bringing up the possibility. But something has changed the Thunder's thinking.

It's still unclear when and if Ibaka will return to the court. Game 3 is Sunday in Oklahoma City, while Game 4 is Tuesday.

Ibaka initially strained his calf in the Thunder's Game 6 second-round victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The team announced last Friday that he would miss the rest of the postseason.

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