Akhtar joins camp, fitness still doubtful

Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Shoaib Akhtar remains a perennial enigma and though the pacer joined the training camp after reportedly going missing, conflicting reports continue to emanate from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regarding his ankle injury.

After days of confusions over his absence from the national training camp, which began last week, Shoaib was finally spotted along with teammates in the preparation camp for the England tour.

Last evening, Shoaib came to the ground but was seen only jogging.

Later PCB officials informed the tear away pacer was advised rest to recover from an ankle injury, which he sustained during practice last week.

Incidentally, injury in the same ankle had forced him to sit out the series against India. He was well on his way to rehabilitation from knee surgery and was recovering fast but the new injury has again clouded his chances of fitness.

Captain Inzamam-ul Haq had no idea about Shoaib's whereabout till last morning and he hoped the pacer would soon join the camp.

While Shoaib's fitness remains a doubt, PCB Director Board Operation Abbas Zaidi said, ''The injury is not serious to rule him out of the team for the tour.'' Pakistan is expected to announce the team on June 9 for four Test matches and five one-dayers during the July-September England tour.

Mr Zaidi said Shoaib was bowling well and trainer Grant Compton was monitoring his progress.

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