Kansas freshman center, and the potential first overall draft pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Joel Embiid has been ruled out of Sunday's third-round contest against Stanford, according to an ESPN report.
"We said all along he would be the longest of long shots for this weekend, but that hasn't by any stretch ruled out next weekend" head coach Bill Self said Thursday.
Embiid sat out the final two regular season games and the Big-12 tournament with a back injury. The injury originally happened earlier in the season, but was aggravated in a March 1 game against Oklahoma State.
The 7-footer averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds this season for the Jayhawks.
The No. 2-seeded Jayhawks beat Eastern Kentucky 80-69 in a second round matchup on Friday.
Kansas is 3-2 in the five games Embiid has missed.
"We are definitely a different team (without him)," said Kansas red-shirt sophomore forward Jamari Traylor. "He affects the game in a different way than we can."
The Jayhawks are optimistic Embiid will return if they advance in the tournament, but until then, he will be replaced with 6-foot-9 senior forward Tarik Black in the starting lineup.