Last week, the PCB confirmed there were no signs of an injury following a scan and the knee discomfort was likely “due to a forced knee flexion whilst landing” and advised two weeks of rehab. Even back then, ESPNcricinfo had reported that it was unlikely that Afridi will be available for the home Tests against England and New Zealand through December-January; the PCB said his “return to international cricket will be subject to the champion fast bowler’s successful completion of the rehabilitation programme and following go-aheads by the medical staff.”
That injury was the latest setback for Afridi, who has spent more time in rehab since July when his knee injury first surfaced in Sri Lanka.
Afridi continued to be part of the team after it was decided he would undergo rehab on tour. However, during the Asia Cup in UAE in August-September, he was pulled out of the squad and flown to London for further assessment of his injury ahead of the T20 World Cup. He eventually returned to play a part in Pakistan’s campaign, having gained steam over the course of the league phase before injuring himself in the final.
Afridi’s potential unavailability is a blow for Pakistan, who are still in with a chance of making the World Test Championship final in England next June. Pakistan are currently in fifth place, jostling in an extremely crowded mid-table tussle: Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and West Indies currently have percentages between 50 and 53.33.
Pakistan host England for three Tests starting December 1, while New Zealand arrive later in the month for two Tests and three ODIs.