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Bill Self acknowledges Joel Embiid could miss the Big 12 tournament

Kansas freshman Joel Embiid is in California seeking a second opinion from a specialist on his injured back, and Jayhawks coach Bill Self acknowledged Monday that it's unclear whether the 7-0 center will play in this week's Big 12 tournament.

"We don't really know what his availability will be this week," Self said.

Embiid has missed KU's past two games with an unspecified back injury. He's averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who won the Big 12 title by two games.

"The big thing is having him for the following week [in the NCAA Tournament]," Self said. "We'll play it by ear ... [But] we do not anticipate not having him next week."

Embiid is projected by some to be the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Whether this back issue will affect his decision or draft status remains unclear. But, for what it's worth, three of the four NBA executives and scouts contacted by CBSSports.com early Monday said they'd probably be hesitant to select a 19-year-old with back issues with the No. 1 overall pick.

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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