Pakistani cricket team coach Bob Woolmer has ruled out fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's return to international cricket before the fourth Test against England.
"I do not think there are any chances of Shoaib's return to the side for the third Test mainly because there is so little time in between the second and third Tests," he was quoted as saying by 'The News'.
Woolmer said it would be too early to think about the speedster's return to the team. "He has started bowling at the nets just a few days back. It would be too early to consider or think in terms of his inclusion in the third Test starting in Headingly in less then ten days' time," he said.
"It has almost been six months since he last played international cricket. He had a stress fracture of ankle and required time to recover. It is a long process, he needs time to get fit and if he is, he needs time to gain match fitness," he said.
The fourth and final Test will start on August 17 at The Oval and Shoaib, currently busy bowling at the Warwickshire nets, is likely to turn up for Pakistan for the match if he does not develop any further complications.
"It is almost impossible if we say he is line to play the third Test. If the speedster continues to improve he could play the fourth Test. However, all depends on how much his condition improves in the next couple of weeks," Woolmer said.