(NEW YORK) — Kansas head coach Bill Self is remaining positive that freshman center Joel Embiid will return during the postseason after going to see a back specialist for the second time on Monday.
“I’m optimistic he’ll play soon,” Self said during a phone interview on Monday.
“He’ll be back. I’m 100-percent optimistic he’ll be back. We just don’t know yet whether it will be this week or next week. We’re not going to put him out there until the doctors say he’s ready.”
Embiid re-injured his back against Oklahoma State on March 1.
“He’s still a little tight but much better than he was. He’s been running in the pool, but certainly not to a point where he’s gotten knocked around,” Self said of the 7-footer.
Embiid is averaging 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. He is widely considered to be a front-runner to be taken No. 1 overall in June’s NBA draft if he elects to leave Kansas after one season.
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Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire