Shoaib to go under knife tomorrow
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Shoaib to go under knife tomorrow

Melbourne-based Dr David Young will perform an arthroscopic surgery to repair Akhtar's knees.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 14:06 IST

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will undergo an arthroscopic surgery on both his knees in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Pakistan Cricket Board Director Saleem Altaf said on Monday thatShoaib was diagnosed by Melbourne-based Dr David Young, who advised the speedster an immediate surgery.

"According to Dr Young, the knees are not in good shape at present and required immediate repair. The arthroscopic surgery will take place on Tuesday and, at least, it will require another eight weeks before the rehabilitation process can start," Altaf said.

Shoaib had been carrying a niggle in the ankle since the start of the home series in October last year. Before the third one-day international against India earlier this month, he was diagnosed with stress fracture in the ankle.

However, it remains a mystery how the world's fast bowler suddenly developed degenerative disease in both the knees.

Altaf said it was premature to say if Shoaib would miss the three-month England tour starting July for four Tests and five one-day internationals.

Shoaib has already been ruled out of next month's Sri Lanka tour on which Pakistan will play two Tests and three one-day internationals.

"We will have to monitor his recovery. Shoaib is an asset and we would not like to rush his comeback and lose him forever. It has to be very calculative comeback for Shoaib and requires patience from both the parties," Altaf said.

Altaf said Dr Young and PCB panel of doctors had a teleconference on Monday just to exchange notes and share views.

"The consensus is that the surgery is inevitable and must not be delayed."

According to Pakistan's leading orthopedic surgeon Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, the degenerative disease was a common injury.

"After a certain age, it happens to everyone. Domestic people get it after an average of 30 years while sportsmen catch it early because of the stress they put on their knees that perform the duties of shock absorbers.

"In arthroscopic surgery, we insert a small instrument inside the knee and scruff the damaged portions. It helps to prolong the careers of the sportsmen by three to four years. It is not a serious injury if diagnosed early and operated perfectly," he said.

Pakistan's champion spinner Saqlain Mushtaq also underwent an arthroscopic surgery a couple of years back but has not been able to take the field again.

Former world squash champion Jansher Khan's career also ended prematurely because of bad knees and mishandled arthroscopic surgery.

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 14:06 IST