LA Clippers: Serge Ibaka could be close to a return

LA Clippers, Serge Ibaka. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
LA Clippers, Serge Ibaka. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

As the LA Clippers get closer to the playoffs, the center rotation between Ivica Zubac and Serge Ibaka is one of the bigger question marks for the team. It seems like Zubac is locking in the starting center position, but the guy who’ll ostensibly be backing him up hasn’t played in a while.

Ibaka hasn’t played since March 15; for 22 games he’s been inactive as he fights a back injury that just isn’t seeming to heal. Lucky for us, though, Ibaka might be nearing his return.

Serge Ibaka may be close to coming back for the LA Clippers.

On Saturday, Ibaka posted a workout video on Instagram, showing him doing exercises in a pool, with the caption “A winner is just a loser that tried one more time”

For a guy who’s missed more than a month with a sore back, it’s encouraging to see him lifting weights and working out, and that might point toward an imminent return for Serge Ibaka. Fans of the Clippers will be thrilled at the possibility that the team could be adding another seven footer back into the rotation.

Ibaka’s Instagram post isn’t the only encouraging sign pointing toward an upcoming comeback. After today’s media availability, beat writer Tomer Azarly gave us a very interesting tweet:

So not only is Ibaka lifting weights and working out on Insta, he’s also playing four on four in practice. That’s a huge step toward Ibaka making his return to the court and shoring up the center rotation.

If Ibaka makes his comeback soon, the LA Clippers can take a deep breath with regards to their big men. DeMarcus Cousins has been playing as well as we could hope, but playing Ibaka as a second center instead of a patchwork of Cousins and Patrick Patterson minutes is undeniably an improvement.

It’ll likely take Serge Ibaka several games to feel comfortable again with his spot in the rotation, so the sooner he can come back, the better. It’s looking like that could come sooner rather than later, and the LA Clippers have got to be excited about this.

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Keep your eyes open for a Serge Ibaka return to the LA Clippers at any time. If our second center can come back soon, the Clips’ defense could be even more of a threat on defense in the playoffs than they are now.