New Zealand have been dealt a major blow ahead of their Test series against current number one ranked South Africa with the news that Tim Southee has been ruled out after being diagnosed with a ruptured ligament in his thumb.
Southee sustained the injury while diving in the field during the recently concluded Plunket Shield match between Northern Districts and Wellington. The match had been a good one for Southee up until that point as he hit his maiden first-class century in the Northern Districts first innings and then took five wickets to force Wellington to follow-on.
New Zealand physio, Paul Close, said of the injury: "He landed heavily on his thumb while fielding, with scans indicating the ligament has fully ruptured and retracted. After consultation with NZC medical staff and a hand specialist it was decided the best course of action is for him to have surgery.
"He will commence rehabilitation immediately following the procedure, with a view to him returning to cricket during the home summer. The procedure is likely to keep him out of the game for 6-8 weeks."
It had already been decided that Southee would miss the three Twenty20 Internationals, which precede the first Test in Cape Town, which starts on 2nd January, as his partner is expecting the birth of their child.
New Zealand Test squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Bruce Martin, Jeetan Patel, Kane Williamson, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.
© Cricket World 2012
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