LA Clippers: Serge Ibaka injury history

LA Clippers Serge Ibaka (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Serge Ibaka (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

With LA Clippers center Serge Ibaka likely out for Game 5 due to back spasms, it’s worth looking into his past injury history.

While he has faced his share of injuries, he hasn’t been forced to miss a ton of time often in his career. He hasn’t been an injury-prone player throughout his career, but has bounced back from several medical setbacks. Here’s a look at his most notable injuries since entering the league in 2009.

Serge Ibaka injury update

Added November 9th: After missing the first eight games of the season, Serge Ibaka played his first game of the season on November 7th against the Hornets.

Added October 21st: Serge Ibaka misses season opener.

Added October 13th: Serge Ibaka has begun full-contact workouts and 3-on-3 basketball. He has not been playing any 5-on-5 ball, and likely won’t be ready for Game 1.

Added October 5th: Serge Ibaka has been cleared for contact.

Added September 26th: Serge Ibaka is going to be limited to start training camp.

Added June 12th: It has been reported that Serge Ibaka underwent season-ending back surgery.

Serge Ibaka injury history

This isn’t Ibaka’s first time he’s been sidelined due to his back this year. His back didn’t hold up well in the regular season, which is why it’s concerning that he’s back on the injury report with a back injury again.

Serge Ibaka back injury, 2021

Serge Ibaka missed 30 games this season due to lower-back tightness. Clippers Head Coach Ty Lue gave Clippers center Ivica Zubac the starting job heading into the playoffs despite Ibaka coming back to play at the end of the regular season. Ibaka has played in the first two playoff games this far in the postseason.

Serge Ibaka ankle injury, 2019

Serge Ibaka missed 10 games in 2019 after spraining his right ankle vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. The sprain was described as “pretty bad” by Toronto Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse, who Ibaka was playing for at the time.

Serge Ibaka knee injury, 2018

Again with the Raptors, Serge Ibaka had to miss three games in the 2018-2019 season due to right knee swelling.

Serge Ibaka knee injury, 2015

In March of 2015, Serge Ibaka ended up having arthroscopic knee surgery, effectively ending his season. The Oklahoma City Thunder, who he was with at the time, were the second seed in the postseason that year. He could not participate in the playoffs.

Serge Ibaka calf injury, 2014

In the 2014 NBA Playoffs, Serge Ibaka suffered a calf injury vs. our LA Clippers. He was expected to miss the rest of the postseason, but ended up just missing the first couple games of the next playoff series, which was the Western Conference Finals.

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The Clippers have been able to hold their own without Ibaka these past two playoff games, but he’s an important piece that can be huge for the Clippers if they can get him back by Game 6.