LA Clippers center Serge Ibaka will miss the remainder of the playoffs after undergoing back surgery on June 10, the team announced on Friday afternoon.
Ibaka is expected to make a full recovery.
The veteran big man had appeared in just two games this postseason before he was sidelined with back spasms early in the first round. Heading into Thursday's Game 2 against the Utah Jazz, Ibaka had missed seven consecutive contests.
"There is nothing I would love more than being on the court helping my brothers and trying to win a championship for #ClipperNation," Ibaka said, via Instagram. "It's been a very tough season, I worked very hard to be back in time for the Playoffs but sometimes injuries get in the way and health has to be a priority. I appreciate all the love and support from everyone and now I have my mindset on supporting my team and getting healthy and ready for next season."
Ibaka struggled to remain available all year long and was known to be dealing with a back injury throughout the season. He returned from a 30-game absence on May 15 and revealed that he had been suffering from a nerve issue, which worsened to the point where he was unable to play shortly after the Clippers returned from the All-Star break.
Ibaka made 41 appearances in his debut season with the LA Clippers, posting averages of 11.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 blocks in 23.3 minutes per game.
With Ibaka out for the remainder of the season, it becomes paramount for players like Ivica Zubac and DeMarcus Cousins to give the Clippers some production at the five. Both players have been part of LA's rotation against the Jazz, with Zubac taking on the larger role of the two.