Joel Embiid won’t play in first two NCAA tournament games

Joel Embiid joined Kansas for a shootaround Wednesday but hasn’t practiced. (Rich Sugg / AP Photo / The Kansas City Star)

Freshman center Joel Embiid, who has a stress fracture in his back, will miss the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament, Kansas Coach Bill Self said.

“He’s not going to play,” Self told “I’m not saying there couldn’t be a miraculous act occur, but we’re certainly not planning on that or expecting that.”

Embiid missed the final two regular-season games and the Big 12 tournament. Kansas, the No. 2 seed in the South Regional, plays No. 15 Eastern Kentucky on Friday. He has yet to return to practice.

“He’s doing really well,” Self said. “We’ve told him that we were not going to put him on the practice floor until he does really, really well in rehab. And that’s what the doctors told us, and that’s what we were going to do all along.

“He’s not far away from being out there in some form or fashion, but probably not contact.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Alex Prewitt · March 20, 2014