Pakistan suffered a setback on Thursday after pace bowler Khurram Shahzad was ruled out of the ongoing Test series against Australia. He complained of discomfort and later, scans showed a stress fracture in the ribs along with an abdominal muscle tear. The 24-year-old impressed on his debut in Perth, finishing with match figures of 5-128, removing Steve Smith twice.
"PCB will now consult a specialist in Australia after which a final management protocol will be established for the player. He will then return to Lahore, where he will continue his injury management and rehabilitation," the Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement.
Pakistan already had a weakened bowling attack after speedster Naseem Shah was omitted from the tour due to a long-term injury. Spinner Abrar Ahmed missed the Perth Test, which they lost by 360 runs, with leg discomfort, but could return for the second match in Melbourne that begins December 26.
"He bowled really well, he had a big job coming here. I'm really sad for him that he got injured. That's part of the game. We have a couple of other bowlers as well – Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali – and they can get good wickets in this Melbourne Test," batter Saud Shakeel told reporters on Thursday.
Pakistan, who have not won a Test in Australia since 1995, have Hasan Ali and Mohammad Wasim in their squad as potential replacements for Shahzad.