Lahore, Dec 2 (UNI) Injured pacer Mohammad Asif may have to take considerable time off the field and may have to give up the hope of playing against arch-rival India in the ongoing Test series if specialists in Australia recommend orthoscopy surgery for his elbow joints problem.
Asif, one of Pakistan's premium strike bowlers, was ruled out of the ODI and Test series against India after failing to make a satisfactory recovery from the nagging injury.
''One doctor in Pakistan has already recommended surgery for him while another has said he can recover without it which is why he is going to Australia for a third opinion,'' Dr Sohail Saleem, who is on the PCB medical panel, said.
''If doctor Allot recommends that Asif needs to have orthoscopic surgery then he will have it. Although the procedure is very short but the recovery period at times can take weeks because it involves key-hole surgery,'' Saleem was quoted as saying by 'The News'.
Asif leaves for Sydney today to consult specialist Paul Allot, who will give his opinion on whether the pacer will require surgery for his elbow joints problem that has troubled him since October.
Chief Operating Officer of PCB, Shafqat Naghmi, said Asif was being sent to Australia to get fit before Australia's tour in March-April next year.
Naghmi also said the board was concerned about the spate of injuries that the country's bowlers have been suffering from.
''We are trying to come up with a programme where the bowlers strictly follow the training and diet regimen recommended for them by the team trainer and doctors even during the off-season and also we will try to ensure they don't suffer over exertion,'' Naghmi said.