(NEW YORK) — The Kansas Jayhawks will have to close out the regular season without their starting center.
Head coach Bill Self announced on Monday that freshman center Joel Embiid will sit out the No. 8 Jayhawks’ final two regular-season games due to a back injury.
Kansas (22-7, 13-3 Big 12) will be without Embiid for its game against Texas Tech on Wednesday night as well as Saturday’s finale at West Virginia. The Jayhawks have already clinched the conference’s regular-season title, their 10th in a row.
“I think he could return for the Big 12 tournament,” Self told ESPN.com. “But it shouldn’t impact the NCAA tournament.”
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.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN