LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW/CBS) – Kansas freshman Joel Embiid will definitely miss the Big 12 tournament and likely won't play again this season unless the Jayhawks at least make the Sweet 16 because of a lingering back injury, KU coach Bill Self said Monday night.
Joel Embiid scored 18 points versus New Mexico on Saturday, Dec. 14th, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. (Photo: Jeff Jacobsen/Kansas Athletics)
"Based on that, this weekend (in the Big 12 Championship) is out," Self said. "Next weekend, we feel like is a longshot, but the doctors are hopeful that if Joel works hard in rehab and progresses that it is possible that he could play in the later rounds of the NCAA Tournament if our team is fortunate enough to advance."
Embiid met with a specialist in Los Angeles on Monday.
The 7-foot-center is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in June's NBA Draft.
"We're all very disappointed for Joel," Self said. "He's worked so hard and improved so much. He's been one of the most improved players in the country in such a short amount of time. The most important thing is for Joel to get healthy. We were hopeful, Joel was hopeful, the doctors were hopeful that his body would respond more rapidly to rehab and that has not been the case."
Embiid has missed KU's past two games with the unspecified back injury. He's averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who won the Big 12 title by two games.
Posted by: Nick Viviani