Zaheer Khan insists Hardik Pandya must not rush his comeback

Pandya had back surgery

India's Hardik Pandya batting against England

Mumbai Indians director of cricket operations Zaheer Khan has encouraged all-rounder Hardik Pandya to not rush back to competitive cricket.

Pandya is currently sidelined after undergoing back surgery – and was recently ruled out of India's Test series against New Zealand. He is effectively in a fitness race ahead of the Indian Premier League.

“For Hardik it's important he should take his time to come back 120 percent. I can say it by experience: when anyone goes through injuries, it's not about coming back, it's about how you come back,” said Khan.

“You have to be patient through that process and you have to listen to the team which is around you – the support staff, be it your doctor, your physio, your trainers. Those are the key people one should communicate with and control the controllables. I have always been advising everyone in the same fashion: you have to take your time; you cannot be impatient and rush your comeback. It's about when you come back, you should be in for a long haul.”

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma is also injured currently. He hurt a calf muscle during India's recent T20I series against New Zealand. Mumbai are the reigning IPL champions.

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“I will say this to anyone who is a sportsman and is going through an injury phase. It's frustrating at times when you're away from the game, but it's very important to stay patient and do the right things and control things in your control. It's about listening to your body, getting more than 100 percent, making sure you've ticked all the boxes, and then make a comeback,” added Khan.

“We are in a position at the moment where the talent and pool of players we have is excellent, the roles are shared by different people. So, if you are telling me the team is affected right now, then I am with you (laughs), but I think it's about keeping the processes going and the performances as a team going in the right direction. We are in a great space as a team at the moment with regard to that, just the abundance of talent available at your disposal.”

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