KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Joel Embiid took part in pregame drills during Kansas' first shootaround in the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday, launching a few jumps shots and dribbling around the floor just days after the school announced a back injury would force him to miss this week's games and probably the early rounds of the NCAA tournament.
Although he worked out with his teammates at the Sprint Center, Embiid is still not available this week, Bill Self reaffirmed.
"I'd say that's probably the case," Self said. "That's what I obviously said the other day. And nothing's changed. But that doesn't mean he couldn't play. But I think the percentages are that he probably won't. But he wasn't out there warming up. He was just out there jackin' around."
Earlier this week, Self said the freshman center would be a "long shot" to compete in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament next weekend after he was diagnosed with a stress fracture after a trip to California, where he met with a back specialist on Monday.
Embiid seemed to belie that report as he maneuvered around the Sprint Center floor with his teammates prior to Thursday's quarterfinal matchup against the winner of Wednesday night's meeting between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The young man moved well even though he's endured an injury that has already cost him KU's final two regular season matchups.
But Self said Embiid, the Big 12's defensive player of the year and a projected top-three pick in next summer's NBA draft, will remain sidelined until the team's medical staff is confident that he's fully healthy.
"He's not going to play this week," Self said. "No, no, no. He's not playing this week at all. The thing about it, we'll play him whenever the doctors and Joel's body is ready to be played. And I'm still very confident, as others are, that that's gonna happen. But, to be real candid, we may have to advance for it to happen. But no, nothing's changed on that front at all."