Joel Embiid out against Stanford

ByJeff Goodman ESPN logo
Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kansas freshman 7-footer Joel Embiid won't play Sunday against Stanford.

Jayhawks coach Bill Self told on Saturday that Embiid, who is nursing a back injury, has been ruled out of Sunday's third-round contest against the Cardinal. Embiid sat out the final two regular-season games and Self had maintained it was a "long shot" that he would be able to play in the team's second game this weekend.

Self also told that Embiid remains questionable for a Sweet 16 matchup, should Kansas get past Stanford. The second-seeded Jayhawks knocked off Eastern Kentucky on Friday night.

The Cameroon native averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds this season, but suffered a back injury in Big 12 play that he aggravated toward the end of the regular season. He went to Los Angeles earlier in the month to see a back specialist, and the optimistic target date for his return was in the Sweet 16.

Jayhawks teammate Naadir Tharpe told that he is uncertain when Embiid, who was considered the frontrunner for the No. 1 overall pick in June's NBA draft, will return.

"We really don't know," Tharpe said. "Some days he feels better than others. I don't know when he'll be back."