Hasan Ali could return to competitive cricket sooner than expected: PCB


Fast bowler Hasan Ali has responded positively to the virtual rehabilitation session for his latest back injury with doctors saying the pacer will not require surgery and may return to competitive cricket sooner than expected.

Ali underwent a two-hour online rehabilitation session last week under the supervision of Lahore-based neurosurgeon Asif Bashir, leading spinal therapist Professor Peter O’Sullivan of Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board medical team.

The panel was encouraged with the outcomes of the opening session and said it would continue to closely monitor Ali’s progress over the next five weeks before deciding next steps.

Dr Sohail Saleem, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Director – Medical and Sports Sciences said, “Hasan Ali picking up injuries around the same area twice in less than a year was not a normal thing. Consequently, we consulted some of the best and most experienced specialists and it is heartening to hear their feedback following the opening online rehabilitation session in which Hasan showed no signs of symptomatic regression.”

“However,” he added, “these are early days of his rehabilitation programme and we will continue to monitor his progress for the next five weeks before collectively making future decisions. But one thing is for certain, he is under the treatment of the very best in the business and hopefully, he will return fitter and stronger to competitive cricket without any surgery.”

Meanwhile, the PCB has announced it will provide financial assistance to Ali till he returns to competitive cricket. The Board decided after the pacer missed out on a central contract due to the injury.

“Hasan Ali is one of our assets and heroes of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 victory. It is the PCB’s responsibility to look after him during these difficult times so that he focuses and works solely on his fitness,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said.

“Hasan is a young and energetic cricketer who has a lot of cricket left in him. Like most of his followers, the PCB will like to see him regain complete fitness so that he can resume normal services for the Pakistan men’s national cricket team. Till that time, the PCB will provide him with financial assistance from the PCB Welfare Fund, which exists exactly for this purpose.”

Ali was diagnosed with excessive stress in his lower back by the PCB medical panel in late April. Before that, he had complained of a back problem in September 2019, which had eventually forced him to pull out of the tour of Australia.

He then had a recurrence on the eve of a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match before he regained complete fitness ahead of the PSL 2020, which was postponed on 15 March due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Ali made his international debut in August 2016 and to date has played nine Tests, 53 ODIs and 30 T20Is.

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