Babar Azam has been ruled out of the remainder of the Test series against England after fracturing his forearm following the blow he took from Ben Stokes on the second day at Lord's
Babar was on 68 when he was hit on his left arm - he was not wearing an arm guard - and after assessment in the middle he retired hurt. He did not go straight for an x-ray but did not return to bat for the remainder of day. Cliff Deacon, the Pakistan physiotherapist, said an injury like Babar's would see him out of action around four to six weeks.
"We decided we were going to do a precautionary x-ray at the end of the day's play," Deacon said. Unfortunately, the x-ray confirmed there was a fracture. The fracture's in the forearm, it's one of the two bones in the forearm in the distal third of the arm, just above the wrist. That's why he couldn't hold his bat properly."
The Pakistan management have decided not to call up a replacement batsman. The squad includes Usman Salahuddin, Fakhar Zaman and Sami Aslam as spare specialist batsmen.
Babar has been billed as Pakistan's next big batting hope after a strong start to his international career. However, it has been his limited-overs form that has really stood out, with him averaging 53.00 and 51.11 in T20Is and ODIs respectively while his Test numbers have remained more modest.
Before this match he was averaging under 25 in Tests, and is yet to score a hundred, making the injury, coming as it did when he was playing so well, all the more ill-timed.