As Pakistan sweat over Shaheen’s injury, a former PCB medical officer feels the road ahead for Afridi could be in danger if proper precautions are not taken or he is hurried back.
Pakistan’s T20 World Cup final against England ended up being a forgettable affair for two reasons. One was obviously the defeat as Pakistan failed to get over the line in a final twice in three months, and second was the injury to Shaheen Afridi. The knee injury that kept Afridi out of action for over three months, resurfaced as the left-arm pacer put in a slide during an attempt to take the catch, but although he succeeded in dismissing Harry Brook of England, in the process Afridi did his knee some severe damage.
Now, as Pakistan sweat over Shaheen’s injury, a former PCB medical officer feels the road ahead for Afridi could be in danger if proper precautions are not taken. It was in July that Afridi picked up a knee ligament injury and after going intense rehabilitation, the 22-year-old was believed to have recovered fully. However, following the reoccurrence on Sunday, the belief is that if Shaheen’s case is not monitored carefully, Afridi’s career could land in jeopardy.
“If the injury doesn’t result in more injuries, it would take Shaheen three to four months to recover. If the PCB’s medical board chooses to treat it through surgery, Shaheen will be out for six, seven months,” former Pakistan Cricket Board chief medical officer Dr. Sohail Salim told Dawn.
The moment Afridi took the catch, he appeared in pain with a huge grimace of the bowler’s face. Mohammad Haris immediately put his arms in the air and called for the physio to rush out. Shaheen immediately left the field and even though he returned to bowl the 16th over, Afridi, visibly in pain, limped back off after just one delivery.
This comes as a big blow for Pakistan and rather surprising too. Although Afridi started off gingerly against India and Zimbabwe, he appeared to have gradually returned to his menacing best, picking up 3/14 against South Africa, a four-wicket haul vs Bangladesh and two more wicket against New Zealand. Even against England in the final, Shaheen provided a breakthrough in the first over, rattling Alex Hales’ stumps with his searing pace.
Many, including Sohail, feel Shaheen might have been rushed back into the scheme of things earlier than expected, with the former PCB official demanding a proper enquiry into the matter. The aggravated knee injury could mean that Shaheen may miss the Test series against England starting December 1. “An inquiry should be held to determine if the PCB medical panel went wrong in their approach to treat Shaheen’s injury,” he added.