Mohammad Irfan may require hip surgery
Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan may head to Australia for a hip surgery if he fails to show enough progress from his ongoing rehabilitation program at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, thereby putting his international return in doubt.
"There are two fractures in his Ischium bone," Dr Sohail Saleem, the PCB doctor, told ESPNcricinfo. "Since he has an extraordinary build, his bones are bigger and that is why it is taking him more time to recover. He may be sent to Australia for a surgery if needed but at the moment he needs two to three weeks of rehabilitation before we decide if he still requires a surgery."
Irfan, 31, who last played in the series against South Africa in the UAE in November, had suffered a hairline fracture on his hip during the second T20 of that series and was ruled out for six weeks. He missed the subsequent series against Sri Lanka and underwent an extensive rehabilitation. He returned to competitive cricket during the domestic Twenty20 Cup in Rawalpindi where he aggravated his injury and was immediately sent for a medical assessment.
"We are following his case on a daily basis and we have to get him ready for international cricket," Saleem said. "We are assessing his progress and his reports will also be sent to Australia for a second opinion so I can't give a precise time but he will be fine and will be playing international cricket again."
Irfan wasn't picked for the recently concluded Asia Cup and the upcoming World T20 in Bangladesh. Pakistan's next international assignment will be in UAE against Australia in October. Irfan said he was determined to make a comeback to the national side.
"My passion for the game is still high but these fitness issues are the hurdles," Irfan told ESPNcricinfo. "I knew with my height I will struggle but I have improved immensely since my debut in 2010. I can't say much about my medical condition but as the doctors suggested I will be fine in the next three months."
Irfan's fitness has been a talking point since he made his debut in 2010 and he played his longest international streak in the UAE. He bowled 65.5 overs in two Tests against South Africa and 13 overs in a game against UAE. In the last four years, he has played four Tests, 27 one-day internationals and seven T20s.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here