Kansas City, Mo. — Joel Embiid’s dad, Thomas, says he believes his injured son will play in the 2014 NCAA tournament.
“Yes he can play before the end of the NCAA. I don’t know if it will take one or two weeks, but I know he will come back soon. He will be back soon. The only thing I can say is he will be back soon,” said Thomas Embiid, in town for the Big 12 tournament with his wife, Christine.
“It will not take a long time. It is not serious (injury),” Thomas Embiid added of Joel’s lower-back stress fracture.
Thomas Embiid, a colonel in the Cameroon military, basically repeated what coach Bill Self has said, that the 7-footer would definitely miss the Big 12 tournament, then be a longshot for the first weekend of the NCAAs, but likely be able to play at some point, if KU can keep winning.
“Yes he wants to play but he is injured and he cannot play,” said Thomas, wearing a Cameroon soccer jacket.
Thomas said he and KU’s staff agreed a recent second opinion regarding the stress fracture was in order this past Monday in Los Angeles.
“Yes, because the staff and I were convinced we want to have a second opinion. The second opinion was like the first opinion (showing a stress fracture),” Thomas Embiid said.
As far as whether Embiid will return to KU for a second season or head to the NBA, Thomas Embiid said no decision had been reached.
Thomas said he would return to Cameroon next week, then come back to the U.S. at end of the NCAA Tournament.
“First we will let the NCAA Tournament finish then we will have a decision,” Thomas Embiid said. “Very soon, after the NCAA Tournament,” he added of the when the decision would be reached.
Asked if he was pleased with KU's handling of his son's injury, he said: "Yes. I am the fan No. 1 of KU."