The finger injury he picked during the 2021 PSL is set to rule out Rashid Khan from Afghanistan's first Test against Zimbabwe, starting on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi. ESPNcricnfo understands Rashid suffered a minor fracture to the middle finger of his bowling hand, which is yet to heal, and, will now force him to sit out the first match of the two-Test series.
Although the Afghanistan Cricket Board has given no official update on Monday, the ACB did signal Rashid was likely to miss the first Test in a media release issued on February 25 and that a "final call on his inclusion" would be taken after a "reassessment of his injury" on February 28.
On February 22, playing for the Lahore Qalandars against Quetta Gladiators in the PSL, Rashid hurt his finger while intercepting a hard-hit stroke from Chris Gayle. Wincing in pain, Rashid was forced to walk off the field to get treatment. The legspinner did return to finish his four-over spell fetching one wicket, that of arch nemesis Gayle.
That was Rashid's second and last match of the PSL before he travelled to Abu Dhabi for the Zimbabwe series. It is understood Rashid had taken scans of the finger in Pakistan before exiting the PSL which revealed he had a fracture. He had "displaced" the intra articular distal phalanx (the base of the top part of the middle finger).
Upon joining the Afghanistan squad, Rashid had to wear a splint to protect the finger. It is understood that he would need to be in rehab until March 4 subject to the injury healing well before that.
It is also understood that Zahir Khan, the left-arm wrist spinner, who has played two Tests, is a potential frontrunner to replace Rashid.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo