Mashrafe Mortaza has been sidelined for the next three weeks, Mushfiqur Rahim has confirmed. Mortaza missed the fifth ODI with a thigh strain which has put him at risk for the one-off Twenty20 against West Indies on Monday.
"Mashrafe bhai's situation is very risky and we will lose him for a long time if we ask him to play again in this series," Mushfiqur said. "We want to give him a break, but I am sure he will recover within the next 2-3 weeks. He will get better."
Mashrafe, apparently, played with this injury in the third and fourth ODIs as well, which aggravated the strain. It forced the team to make a last-minute switch by including Shafiul Islam as the only pace bowler in the Bangladesh attack.
Mortaza has undergone ten surgeries on both knees in his 11-year international career. "I don't think he's a human being. He played the last two matches with pain and I don't think anyone else could have done what he's done. Hats off to him," said Mushfiqur.
He made his last major comeback in March to play the Asia Cup, after he broke down with a knee injury a month before the 2011 World Cup. At the time of return, Mashrafe had said he would only be available for limited-overs cricket.
He was named in the Twenty20 side for the one-off game against West Indies.