Former Australia captain and Multan Sultans' platinum pick Steve Smith has been ruled out of the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League due to an elbow injury.
"We are sad to lose a player of Steve’s calibre but we wish him a speedy recovery," said a PCB release.
The PSL runs from February 14 to March 17 and will clash with most of Smith's rehabilitation period which is expected to be over six weeks after the surgery.
Multan Sultans will now sign a replacement for the injured batsman at the replacement draft later this month.
The setback is likely to have implications for the 29-year-old's return to the international game as well with less than three months left on his ball-tampering ban.
Smith was forced to drop out of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League after playing only two matches for Comilla Victorians due to the injury and is set to go under the knife in next week to repair a ligament in his right elbow.
Following the surgery, Simth is expected to spend six weeks on a brace and then undergo extensive rehabilitation.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said that Smith's return to playing will be made clearer once the brace is removed.
It is also expected to affect his chances of being picked in the national side for the World Cup as well as the Ashes series in England later this year.