Lawrence, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid will miss the upcoming Big 12 Tournament and the first week of the NCAA Tournament, according to a statement released by the University.
Embiid, whose 2.57 blocks per game ranked second in the Big 12 this season, missed a Feb. 15 contest against TCU with a lower back strain and aggravated the injury later on, prompting the Jayhawks to hold out the freshman standout for the final two regular-season games.
After seeing a spinal specialist in Los Angeles on Monday, it was determined that the injury will keep Embiid on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.
"This weekend (in the Big 12 championship) is out," said Kansas head coach Bill Self. "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 will not need surgery, and doctors believe he will make a full recovery.
"We're all very disappointed for Joel," Self continued. "He's worked so hard and improved so much. The most important thing is for Joel to get healthy."
The 7-footer from Cameroon has had a terrific campaign, averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds and helping the Jayhawks to the Big 12 regular-season crown.