For the better part of the last month, Kansas star Joel Embiid—who is being projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft—has been suffering from a back injury. But he was supposed to return to the Jayhawks' lineup soon in order to play for the team during the postseason. But now, spinal specialists have determined that Embiid's back injury is way worse than Kansas originally thought it was, and it could affect his ability to play in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Late yesterday, Kansas sent out a press release indicating that Embiid has a stress fracture in his back. And as a result of that, he will not be able to play in the Big 12 tournament this week and is also "unlikely" to play in the first two games of the NCAA Tournament for Kansas. It will all depend on how Embiid's back responds to the rehab he's preparing to undergo in the days ahead.
"Next weekend, we feel like is a longshot," Kansas head coach Bill Self said in a statement released on Monday night, "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."
Fortunately, the back issue should not affect Embiid long-term, which is great for his future in the NBA. But if you're a Jayhawks fan or just someone who was looking forward to seeing him perform in the postseason this year, you might be out of luck.
[via Sports Illustrated]