Lahore: Pakistan suffered a big blow hours before the team's departure to India when paceman Mohammad Asif pulled out of the one-day series because of an elbow injury, officials said.
"Asif has a recurrence of an elbow injury and he will not travel to India with the team," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi told reporters.
The 24-year old paceman suffered the injury to his bowling arm ahead of Pakistan's first Test against England at Lord's last year. It recurred during Pakistan's home series against South Africa earlier this month.
Asif missed the first three one-day internationals before selectors risked him in the fourth one-day at Multan where he conceded 64 runs in eight overs and aggravated the injury.
"It's a big loss," Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik told reporters.
Naghmi said there will be no replacement for Asif in the 15-man squad as the paceman may get fit after missing the first three matches, adding that his doctor had devised a rehabilitation programme for the bowler.
Naghmi also justified Asif's inclusion in the match against South Africa at Multan.
"Asif was feeling well so he was played in that match but unfortunately felt pain after the match and was rested in the fifth and final match last week," said Naghmi.
Asif has taken 51 wickets in 11 Tests since making his Test debut against Australia three years ago. He also has 31 wickets in 29 one-day internationals.
Pakistan fly out to India on Thursday afternoon to play five one-day internationals and three Tests. The first one-dayer will be played at Guwahati on Monday.
Asif also missed Pakistan's last tour to India in 2005 because of a knee injury.
His first and only tour to India last year ended in shame as he was withdrawn from the team after he and fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for banned steroid nandrolone.
A PCB doping tribunal banned Akhtar for two years and Asif for one year. The bans were overturned on appeal.