Yousuf Youhana became a doubtful starter for next week's Sharjah Cup after he was forced to pull out from Thursday's National One-day Championship final.

Youhana's employers PIA said Wednesday that the middle-order batsman was carrying a groin injury he had sustained during the last league match against Allied Bank in Karachi.

The title favourites further said Youhana left the field Tuesday in PIA's nine-run victory over National Bank after just five overs. He was limping and looked in discomfort, they said.

"His injury seems to be severe otherwise he would not have pulled out from the final," the team management said in a statement. However, Yousuf Youhana played down his injury scare saying the groin muscle was only tight.

"I am just being careful and there is nothing serious or alarming. I don't want to miss the Sharjah tournament or the series against New Zealand," Youhana said from Lahore.

Pakistan coach Mudassar Nazar was surprised when contacted in Lahore. "If he doesn't play on Thursday, naturally questions will be asked. If he says he sat out because of groin trouble, then the doctors come into picture," he said.

Mudassar said Youhana was too valuable a player to be risked. "Of course, we will ask him how he feels. If he says he can play in Sharjah and then in the series against New Zealand, we have no problems. "But he will have to pass a fitness test for Sharjah ," he said. The Sharjah triangular begins Monday.

He added: "Youhana did the usual running at the Gaddafi Stadium and I didn't notice that he was uncomfortable. But then groin doesn't hurt much when you running in a straight line."

Mudassar said if there was enough doubt on Youhana's fitness, Faisal Iqbal would be drafted in the side.

"Faisal is the 16th player and he is a deserving candidate."

Faisal was last week added as non-playing member for which the critics slammed the youngster instead of targeting people who named him as a tourist. Faisal has scored consistently in the top order for PIA in the ongoing One-day Championship.