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One statistic that shows just how unlucky the Thunder were by losing Serge Ibaka to this particular injury

May 17, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Four Getty Images

The Thunder suffered what might be a fatal blow to their championship aspirations for the second straight season, once it was learned that their best interior defensive player in Serge Ibaka would be lost for the remainder of the playoffs due to a calf injury.

Last year, it was Russell Westbrook who was injured, tearing a knee ligament in the first round while battling the Houston Rockets.

That’s some terrible luck for Oklahoma City to suffer in consecutive years, and given the specific nature of Ibaka’s injury, it would appear that the misfortune involved was even more dramatic.

From Matthew Tynan of 48 Minutes of Hell:

Reports out of OKC are saying the injury is a grade 2 strain of the plantaris muscle, and the recovery period is lengthy because of a high re-injury risk. Here’s an excerpt from a Sports Injury Clinic post on what we’re talking about, something actually known as ‘tennis leg.’

Tennis leg is a tear or rupture of the plantaris muscle and possibly the medial head or inside of the gastrocnemius muscle which is the larger of the two calf muscles.

The Plantaris muscle is a thin muscle in the back of the lower leg, which attaches just above the knee on the outside, passes down the back of the calf and inserts on to the heel bone. It’s function is to assist the larger calf muscles in plantar flexing the ankle or pointing the foot down. This muscle is actually absent in up to 15% of the population.

The injury most frequently occurs due to a force or trauma to the leg whilst the knee is straight. Movements such as jumping or pushing off may also cause tennis leg. Both movements are frequent in tennis, hence the development of the term tennis leg to describe this injury.

That’s right. The muscle Ibaka injured doesn’t even exist in 15 percent of the population.

Now, maybe without that muscle, Ibaka’s athleticism is diminished, and he isn’t quite the player we see today. But either way, there are plenty of people out there who don’t possess this muscle to begin with.

Ibaka, unfortunately for the Thunder, just happens to be one of the lucky ones.

  1. cantonb0und13 - May 17, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    If this comment gets over 50 thumbs up then cantonbound13 must delete his username, since he copy my name.

    • cantonb0und13 - May 18, 2014 at 12:26 AM

      Well, it got over 50 thumbs up and down combine, close enough. Delete the username.

  2. ranfan12 - May 17, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    lol tennis leg. never heard that before

    • pbtunpaidwriter - May 18, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      Freakin Ibaka. That’s what you get for punching people in the balls and getting away with it. He did it TWICE to Griffin now. I don’t care how much you hate a player, you just don’t do that. That’s man code.

      He should have been suspended for that punch to Griffin. He didn’t get a personal foul, no T, no Flagrant, no fine or suspension. I’m still shocked.

      Karma is a bit**. Ibaka is a beastly 2 way player who would average 17-20 if he wasn’t a distant 3rd option on a contender.

      I’m just sad for Durant that his title hopes have taken a huge blow.

  3. ohioteamsusuallysuck - May 17, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Not to be racist but I heard black people have extra muscles in legs. I’m not sure if it’s true or not

    • phaden27 - May 17, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      It’s not.

    • jkirby317 - May 18, 2014 at 12:54 AM

      Anytime that you start a sentence with “Not to be racist but…”
      Just stop there because it is.

    • campcouch - May 18, 2014 at 3:00 AM

      hahahaha I’m so going to my doctor and checking!

    • ProBasketballPundit - May 18, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Hey there’s nothing racist about noticing differences between people. But no, bones/muscles/everything between white & black folk are identical in structure. They just tend to have bigger muscles and longer frames. White people have higher functioning brains. I realize I’ll get 400 down thumbs for that but it’s not an opinion. It’s data collected from IQ tests.

      • money2long - May 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Wow. Fool.

      • ProBasketballPundit - May 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        15 to 18 point difference between white/black people in the US. Be ignorant no more.

      • worldbfree4me - May 18, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        The so-called IQ test was created by White People. It ask questions like “What does the Crib mean” and let’s be honest most White People would answer something that a baby sleeps in, but in reality it’s what a Man of color calls his home. Sigh

      • ProBasketballPundit - May 18, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        @worldbfree4me Psychologists have considered cultural bias when it comes to IQ tests and have done a great job eradicating it. If you’ve ever taken a standardized IQ test like the WAIS you’d know it doesn’t ask cultural questions. It really only measures your ability to learn. How fast can you learn something new and apply it? That’s intelligence.

      • terrence1922 - May 20, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        IQ test don’t tell you a damn thing. This world is so screwed up.

  4. jzone954 - May 17, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Gotta feel for OKC. It sucks to have a key injury this deep in the postseason.

  5. sportsfan18 - May 17, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    “Ibaka, unfortunately for the Thunder, just happens to be one of the lucky ones.”

    Well, considering that 85% of the population HAS that muscle, I’m not sure one may say that one of the people in that large of a majority is lucky…

    Now, if only 3 to 5 percent had the muscle and the muscle was really a game changer with respect to improving ones athletic performance, then I would call him one of the lucky ones…

    • renbidoni - May 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      Pretty sure it was a joke.

    • eugenesaxe1 - May 18, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      I guess sarcasm doesn’t exist in your world.

  6. goldmember21 - May 17, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    Black people have bionic legs

    • zoomy123 - May 18, 2014 at 5:34 AM

      You sound like Donald Sterling.

    • money2long - May 18, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      You mean bionic shafts.

  7. zackd2 - May 17, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Ah another built-in excuse for Durant if he doesn’t win this year. Keep it up Kevin, and you’ll get labeled “not a winner” soon enough.

    • apkyletexas - May 18, 2014 at 1:04 AM

      or “Mr. Unreliable”

      • money2long - May 18, 2014 at 11:43 AM

        Looks like his teammates that keep going down with injuries are the unreliable ones.
        You guys really sacrifice intelligence for quick laughs. Idiots.

      • zackd2 - May 18, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        Money2long – the laughs are about the inconsistent narratives from fans and media. Lebron wasn’t a winner for his entire stay in Cleveland, when he had no one on his team, then he wins with aware and Bosh and he’s a winner. Durant hasn’t won with his team, but there’s always someone else to blame.

        Let’s see how long that lasts.

  8. campcouch - May 18, 2014 at 3:00 AM

    time for the MVP to be the MVP

  9. spursareold - May 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    What’s the matter with Abaka? Ronnie Lott had part of his finger AMPUTATED, because the recovery period was shorter than waiting for the bone to heal!!! You don’t really need that muscle anyway!

    • willkill4caffeine - May 20, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      That’s just plain incorrect. In individuals that have the muscle, it facilitates the ability of the larger calf muscles to flex the ankle and point the foot down. Which is just slightly important for a basketball player.

  10. spursareold - May 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    It’s spelling BEE you moron. I can understand your mistake though, since spelling ‘be’ difficult for you.

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