Karachi [Pakistan], January 3 (ANI): Pakistan's star bowler Shaheen Afridi has resumed his rehabilitation with the team's medical staff in Karachi after being out of action for the entire home season due to a knee injury.
The speedster is looking to make his comeback to competitive cricket in the 2023 edition of the PSL.
"Afridi will resume his rehabilitation under the national men's team's medical staff in Karachi from today. While providing Shaheen top-notch care, this move will allow the medical staff to track his progression and pave the way for his smooth return to action," PCB said in a statement.
Since July, while Pakistan was playing a Test series in Sri Lanka, Afridi has experienced knee pain. Before being possibly prematurely called back for the men's T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November, he was out for three and a half months.
In seven bowling innings, he picked up 11 wickets, including 4 for 22 against Bangladesh, 3 for 14 against South Africa, and 3 and 24 against New Zealand in the semifinal. Afridi, however, was only able to bowl 2.1 overs in the final game against England due to knee damage sustained when diving for a catch in the deep.
"The interim selection committee and team management have invited [Rauf] to be assessed by the team's medical staff so a decision on his availability for the three One-Day Internationals against New Zealand - to be played next week - can be made," said the PCB as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
There was a lot of discussion about how the injury was managed by the PCB and the Pakistan team administration at the time, and the then management had initially hoped that Afridi would be fit after two weeks of rehabilitation. In the hopes that he would heal while on tour, he joined the team for a three-match ODI series in the Netherlands in August after suffering the injury in July. That didn't work out as planned, and the PCB eventually disclosed that he would miss four to six weeks of action.
Another attempt was made to get Afridi's rehabilitation going while he was in the UAE for the Asia Cup and continued to travel with the team. It was ultimately determined that he would travel to the UK for additional rehabilitation and work with specialists on the PCB medical panel, Zafar Iqbal and Imtiaz Ahmed, after medical tests revealed a posterior cruciate ligament injury. He didn't play in the Asia Cup or the seven-T20I home series against England in September, but he joined the team in Brisbane before the T20 World Cup began.
If there was any chance Afridi would return for the current home season, it didn't happen because the player and his family decided to extend his rest and recovery period. Afridi, who underwent an appendectomy in November as well, has recently travelled between Peshawar, Lahore, and Karachi to fulfil some of his professional obligations, but he has made no appearances on the field. (ANI)