Recovering Gul bowling in the nets again

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Pakistan seamer Umar Gul is targeting a return to competitive cricket, amid recovery from a knee injury that has sidelined him from international series for over six months.

Pakistan seamer Umar Gul is targeting a return to competitive cricket, amid recovery from a knee injury that has sidelined him from international series for over six months.

Gul sustained the injury during the second ODI against South Africa at Centurion in March, subsequently undergoing surgery in Australia in May – and since the subject of a testing rehabilitation programme in Lahore.

"I'm pretty optimistic of getting back the rhythm as I feel fine at the moment," Gul told <i>Dawn</i>.

"It is just that there is no competition at present to find out the actual status of my fitness. Everything appears to be settling down.

"The knee is fine with no signs of ill-effects from the surgery I had a few months ago. Over the past 15 days, I have started bowling in the nets as well."

Pakistan, meanwhile, will soon name the squad for next month's Test series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates. Gul, however, is unlikely to earn a recall – yet.

"I am yearning to play some matches to test myself. Although I have trained during rehabilitation and then bowling in the nets, one can't aspire to judge both the level of fitness and form if there is no competitive sort of matches," he added.

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