Until Friday, Serge Ibaka had been the only Thunder player to play every game this season.
But he has missed the last two games with soreness in his knee.
Now, it seems Ibaka will join Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as key Oklahoma City players to see extended absences.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka will undergo a knee procedure to address some persistent soreness, sources told ESPN.com.
It is not clear how long Ibaka will be sidelined following the surgery.
He will see a specialist for further evaluation, with the expectation for him to have a clean-out procedure in order to be ready for the postseason.
The Thunder will be either the most dangerous No. 8 seed of all time or the best team to miss the playoffs. This surgery increases the chances of both.
Oklahoma City is eighth in the Western Conference, just one game ahead of the Pelicans and three games ahead of the Suns.
The Thunder have a deep group of bigs – Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, Nick Collison, Mitch McGary and Steve Novak – but none of them provide what Ibaka does, especially defensively. Ibaka – who’s averaging 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game – is not a star like Durant and Westbrook, but he’s unquestionably Oklahoma City’s third-best player.
With Durant still out, even more falls on Westbrook now.