Junaid Khan out of World Cup
Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan has been ruled out of the World Cup after failing a fitness test. Junaid had already pulled out of the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand due to a thigh injury sustained in training and despite undergoing a rigorous rehabilitation programme at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, he is believed to have failed his test marginally. Pakistan will announce a replacement in their 15-man squad tomorrow.
Junaid had originally sustained a "Grade-3 osteochondral" fracture in his knee last October, ruling him out of Pakistan's entire international winter season in the UAE, against Australia and New Zealand. He recovered from that injury to make the World Cup squad, but had a fall while bowling in the nets during training at the Gaddafi Stadium on January 15 and was sent to Pakistan's medical staff with pain in his right thigh and elbow.
Initial tests reported a Grade-1 injury, which Junaid was expected to recover from in a couple of weeks, with the PCB's doctors recommending that he take thorough rest and avoid travelling. However, Junaid went on a long journey by car last month to his home-town Swabi, which is believed to have aggravated his injury.
The PCB's medical panel concurred that he had not recovered sufficiently from "the traction injury of the nerve in the posterior right thigh" and recommended recuperation at the NCA. Junaid was subsequently withdrawn from the New Zealand tour and Bilawal Bhatti was picked as his replacement for the two-match series.