Mohammad Yousuf has been ruled out of the Test series against South Africa after picking up a recurrence of an old groin injury moments before the toss of the first match in Dubai. He requires at least two weeks to recover and will fly home but no replacement has been named.

Yousuf, 36, returned to the Test side during the tour of England when he played at The Oval and Lord's following his retirement after the disastrous trip to Australia which he captained. The initial groin injury meant he wasn't able to take his place in the one-day squad against South Africa until being drafted in for the deciding match last week.

"Its an old injury Yousuf sustained before the one-day series last month and since it will take two weeks to heal we are sending him back and there will be no replacement," the team manager, Intikhab Alam, said. "It is indeed disappointing because Yousuf has been Pakistan's most reliable batsman and we needed him for this series."

It is hoped that the return of Yousuf, and Younis Khan who resumed Test cricket in Dubai after patching up defences with the Pakistan board, will make Pakistan more competitive after an inexperienced line-up was regularly exposed in England with a string of sorry displays. But the wait goes on for the two experienced players to appear together again.