Shoaib Akhtar is once again a conspicuous absentee as Worcestershire get back on County Championship duty against Lancashire at Blackpool today.
But, while he has reported back from Asia Cup duty with the dual niggles of a side strain and fluid on the knee, Worcestershire do not expect it to be a long-term problem.
And, although he will not spend the next four days at Stanley Park, Shoaib hopes to be fit for the county's final three Championship games - especially now a threat that he might have to miss the end of the season has been averted.
Reports from Pakistan had suggested that their contracted international players would have to head home early for a training camp in preparation for this Autumn's home series with England. But Worcestershire have had it confirmed that this will not, in fact, be the case.
"We've now had it guaranteed by the Pakistan board that Shoaib will still be available to us right until the end of the season," said Worcestershire chief executive Mark Newton.
As to whether the less than 100 per cent reliable Shoaib will actually play in the county's final three Championship games, that is another matter.
Today's no-show makes it a start rate to date of two out of five possible appearances. And it was a clearly a sensible strategy when Worcestershire loaded his deal very much on a pay-per-play basis.
At least they showed they could manage very nicely without him when they beat Somerset at New Road last week, to earn coach Steve Rhodes his first win since taking charge in June.
Now Rhodes is looking to build on that with the victory that would close the 15.5 point gap on fourth-placed Lancashire and elevate Worcestershire right back into the Division Two promotion melting pot.
"It'll be a good toss to win," said Rhodes. "If the weather stays fair, and we get to bat first, we need to build up a good first innings score and see if it suits our spinners as much as we hope."
From that Championship win over Somerset, Chris Gayle replaces Zander De Bruyn, while skipper Vikram Solanki and Graeme Hick return in place of Daryl Mitchell and the luckless Stephen Peters.
"It's hard having to tell somebody they're missing out and you can't find a reason why," said Rhodes. "It's just because there's others coming in. But it's better than telling a player he's lost his form."
That's what happened to Peters when he first lost his place earlier this summer. But, after scoring 88 on his recall against Somerset, it's doubtful that he's any less hurt this time.
WORCESTERSHIRE: V S Solanki (capt), C H Gayle, S C Moore, G A Hick, B F Smith, S M Davies, G J Batty, Kabir Ali, R W Price, N M Malik, M S Mason