Dubai, October 19: Australia's depleted batting may face further deterioration after scans confirmed in-form opener Usman Khawaja tore his meniscus in Abu Dhabi during the on-going second Test against Pakistan.
Khawaja underwent scans on Thursday night (October 18) after tweaking his left knee during the warm-up before play on day three. Cricket Australia confirmed on Friday (October 19) that the opening batsman had suffered a torn meniscus, with an operation likely.
His participation in the home schedule which includes a high profile series against India is now under a cloud with Khawaja set to spend eight weeks on the sidelines after the surgery. The opening batsman, who was man of the match during the drawn first Test in Dubai, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee in 2014.
Khawaja could return to bat if he can manage the pain and move enough but he must sit out the first session after spending day three off the field. Veteran paceman Peter Siddle said Khawaja appeared to have hurt himself in innocuous circumstances.
"It was just something in warm-up. We were throwing the ball," the bowler said after play on Thursday. "I don't know what specifically happened. It's disappointing for him but fingers crossed he gets some good news tonight.
"Once he's got the scan and we know more, that'll determine from the doctor's point of view what he can and can't do. We'll see how that comes up tomorrow and we'll go from there."
Khawaja has become the most senior batsman in a heavily depleted top six following the suspensions handed to Steve Smith and David Warner.
The injury came at the wrong time for the Queenslander, who defied his doubters to post scores of 141 and 85 and spearhead Australia's remarkable comeback in Dubai.
"He was initially very flat, as anyone would know, knowing that he can't get out there with the boys and help out," Siddle said. "But I think throughout the day he was up and about, moving around, helping us when we came in and trying to help us in the rooms. He's a positive guy, so fingers crossed for him and we get some good news tonight or tomorrow."