Akhtar looking to return against Bangladesh

February 16th, 2009 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib AkhtarKarachi, Feb 16 (IANS) Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has given up plans to undergo a knee surgery and is now looking ahead to make his international return in the one-day series in Bangladesh next month.

Akhtar, 33, said in an interview Monday that doctors have told him that his knee injury can be healed without any surgery, adding that the new diagnosis has given him hope of returning to the national squad within the next few weeks.

“My doctors have advised me that the blood and pieces of bones in my knee could be removed through injections and there won’t be a need for any surgery,” said Akhtar.

Akhtar, who has played 46 Tests and 140 One-day internationals, was dropped from the Pakistan squad after an unimpressive showing in the first two one-dayers against Sri Lanka last month. He was later overlooked for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, getting underway later this week in Karachi.

Earlier this month, he was diagnosed with a knee injury and was advised to undergo an operation. However, Akhtar sought a second opinion and was told that a surgery was not necessary. “I sent the MRI reports to Australia and England, and the advice was not to have an operation, so I hope to be back in action by next month,” said Akhtar.

The pacer is now hoping a recall for the tour of Bangladesh. Pakistan is scheduled to tour Bangladesh for five ODIs and a Twenty20 game in March.

However, it will take more than fitness for Akhtar to convince national selectors and Pakistan team management that he deserves a place in the Pakistan squad. A team official told IANS on the condition of anonymity that Akhtar was a huge disappointment in the ODI series in Sri Lanka and the team management is not ready to have him back for the series against Bangladesh.

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