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Reports: Joel Embiid will miss next two games due to tender back

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Joel Embiid has played beyond expectations this year and could very well be a top pick in June. (USATSI)

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Kansas star center Joel Embiid will sit for the team's final two regular-season games, coach Bill Self told multiple media outlets Monday afternoon. A back issue has been plaguing Embiid in the past few weeks. Reports were that he first tweaked his back Feb. 8 in the team's home game against West Virginia.

Embiid was reported to be walking gingerly after the team's loss Saturday night at Oklahoma State.

The 22-7 Jayhawks have their home finale Wednesday against Texas Tech and close out the regular season Saturday at West Virginia. KU's Saturday night loss to OSU did not affect its seed, according to our Jerry Palm; the team is currently projected as a No. 2 seed in's mock bracket.

"I think he could return for the Big 12 tournament," Self told "But it shouldn't impact the NCAA tournament."

Embiid, who missed one game already due to this back issue, has been projected by some as the No. 1 overall pick in this June's NBA draft.

LOOK:'s latest mock drafts.

Embiid, whose 72 blocks this season is a KU freshman record, is averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds. Coming off the Oklahoma State loss, Kansas fell to eighth in Monday's AP poll.

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