England's preparations for the first Test continue to be overshadowed by the uncertainty surrounding captain Michael Vaughan's knee injury.
It was expected that Vaughan - now rated "very doubtful" - would finally discover yesterday whether the suspected cartilage damage he suffered in his right knee would rule him out of facing Pakistan on Saturday, or even end his tour completely.
Instead, with two days to go before the start of the three-match series in Multan and two days after Vaughan collapsed while batting against Pakistan A, England's medical experts were still unable to advise him, his team or their supporters on the captain's fate.
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Essex batsman Alastair Cook was called up as batting cover for Vaughan, while the selectors announced that veteran off-spinner Shaun Udal will be retained after the Test series for the one-day internationals, for which Worcestershire all-rounder Kabir Ali has also been called up.
When it comes to Vaughan himself, though, the situation remains unclear. The issue is complicated by his history of similar problems in the same knee.
The England and Wales Cricket Board issued a statement which detailed the reasons for keeping Vaughan on tour for the time being.
It read: "The medical team have consulted radiologists and orthopaedic specialists about the right knee injury Michael Vaughan sustained on Monday during England's tour match against Pakistan A.
"Michael's orthopaedic specialist in the United Kingdom has viewed scans of his knee taken in Pakistan and the advice we have received is that he should rest his injury.
"Michael will remain with the squad and the medical team will continue to monitor his progress closely.
"He is rated very doubtful for the first Test in Multan and his availability for the second and third Test matches will be reassessed in due course."
Vaughan's previous scans date from an operation in 2002 on torn cartilage and a second injury last year, which ruled him out of the Lord's Test against New Zealand but did not prevent him playing in the rest of the series.
While the captain is left to ponder whether he will regain fitness in time, Cook was digesting news of his call-up and preparing to fly to Pakistan.
"I didn't expect this in my wildest dreams," he said. "I think if Owais Shah or Robert Key had been fit, one of them would have been going out there rather than me but I am absolutely thrilled.
"It is a great opportunity to go out there and learn about what Test cricket is like."
The remainder of the England squad could be forgiven for being thrown off course by the confusing turn of events and Udal, probably set to make his Test debut this weekend at the age of 36, confirmed that no-one is assuming anything.
"Michael hasn't been written out of the equation yet. He might yet still be fit enough to play, which would be fantastic," he said.
"If he isn't, we have a very able deputy [as captain] in Marcus (Trescothick) and some quality back-up."
Udal said he has been impressed by what he has seen of former England Under-19s captain Cook, who made a name for himself last summer when he hit 214 off 238 balls against Australia in a tour match.
"He looks an outstanding prospect. I know the Australians rated him very highly when he scored that doublehundred against them at Chelmsford," said the veteran Hampshire off-spinner.
"He comes with great credentials and seems to have a very good and clear head on him. I am sure he will go on to bigger and better things, whether or not he is needed to play on this tour."
England's chairman of selectors David Graveney explained the reasoning in calling up both Cook and Kabir.
"Alastair Cook has been called into the squad because we felt we needed an opening batsman to provide cover, not only for Michael Vaughan but also for Andrew Strauss, who is expected to fly home before the third Test to attend the birth of his child," he said.
"Alastair had an outstanding season for Essex last summer and is a member of our National Academy squad this winter and we believe he has the potential to succeed at international level.
"Kabir Ali's bowling should be well-suited to the conditions we will encounter in Pakistan and his selection for this tour will give him another opportunity to stake his claim for a regular place in the side."