Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent
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Shadab Khan has been ruled out of the remainder of the New Zealand tour and from the upcoming home series against South Africa after being diagnosed with a high-grade injury to his left thigh. Batsman Imam-ul-Haq has also been ruled out of the ongoing New Zealand tour because of his left thumb fracture and he will fly back to Pakistan on Sunday.
Khan had earlier missed the home white-ball series against Zimbabwe in October-November with a groin injury, but had recovered in time for the New Zealand tour. The injury became worse during a tour game in Christchurch, but he was cleared to lead Pakistan in the T20Is after Babar Azam also fractured his thumb that made him miss the first Test too.
Khan's thigh injury is different from his previous injury. He was diagnosed with "high grade full thickness tear to the Rectus Femoris muscle", an injury he had sustained during the third T20I against New Zealand.
"The MRI reports have confirmed it is a fresh injury and not the one that had sidelined him from the Zimbabwe series last month," Dr Sohail Saleem, Pakistan's team doctor, said. "The latest injury will be treated conservatively and Shadab will undergo a six-week rehabilitation programme during which he will have weekly ultrasound scans. After the competition of the six-week period, the medical panel will assess and evaluate the injury before making a call on Shadab's return to competitive cricket."
Imam, on the other hand, will return home and rest before the home series against South Africa that starts on January 26. He had fractured his left thumb during a training session in Queenstown. Azam, who fractured his right thumb, is showing signs of recovery and he hit the nets for batting practice recently but the decision of his participation in the second Test, which starts on January 3, will be taken closer to the game.