Mohammad Asif's rehabilitation from elbow injury could rule him out for another three months, which means he may face a race against time to be ready for the home series against Australia in March.
Asif missed four ODIs out of five against South Africa in October and also the entire tour to India because of his right elbow. The problem is a long-standing one, having forced him to miss three Tests last year against England as well.
He has just undergone successful keyhole surgery on the elbow in Sydney, Australia. The surgery was carried out by a prominent specialist on Monday.
"The initial reports are that it was not a major operation and it has been successful,"
Shafqat Naghmi, Chief Operating Officer of the PCB, told Reuters.
"But Asif's recovery could take up to three months before he resumes playing,"
Naghmi said. A specialist will soon determine how long the full rehabilitation period will be.
"We fear he would require a three-month rest, which means he is certainly out of next month's home series against Zimbabwe,"
Naghmi also said that Asif might then face a race against time to be completely fit for the home series against Australia, tentatively scheduled to begin from March 9.