New Zealand wicket-keeper/batsman Brendon McCullum has been ruled out of the first two Twenty20 Internationals against Pakistan with a back injury.
The aggressive right-hander, who has played 40 Twenty20 Internationals and scored 1100 runs, reported a stiff back following a fitness test and he is not expected to feature until the third match on 30th December in Christchurch.
The opening two matches are on the 26th and 28th December in Auckland and Hamilton respectively.
"He has shown great determination and a great willingness to push through discomfort in order to help the BLACKCAPS on the recent tour of India but because Brendon is committed to being a wicket-keeper batsmen for the BLACKCAPS in limited overs cricket we are taking a longer term view and will not risk further set backs," selector Glenn Turner said.
"The medical staff are confident that intensive treatment and the right rehabilitation will stabilise his injury and get him back to full fitness.
"As is normal procedure, he will be monitored closely and will complete another fitness test prior to the third Twenty20.
"He may be available for selection in the third Twenty20 as a batsmen but only if the testing and assessment prove that his involvement will not have a detrimental affect on his overall recovery and his ability to wicket-keep in the One-Day series.
"Brendon is expected to be available for the first Test and during that period he will complete a programme that focuses on strengthening his back, including wicket-keeping specific exercises, to give him the best possible chance of playing a full part in the One-Dayers."
McCullum became the second man after Chris Gayle to score a century in a Twenty20 International when he hit an unbeaten 116 in 58 balls in February.
© Cricket World 2010