Neesham goes home, Southee optimistic

New Zealand

New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has been ruled out of the Test series against Australia with a back injury, picked up in the same match fast bowler Tim Southee also injured his back.

While Neesham is definitely out of the series, the Black Caps are hopeful that Southee, who pulled up with the injury on day two in Brisbane, will be fit in time for the second Test in Perth.

Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum said of Southee after his side's 208-run loss at the 'Gabba: "I am pretty confident, he is starting to come right pretty quickly which is a good sign.

"Back injuries can recover pretty quickly, we will give him every chance.

"He showed in that first innings he will pose a lot of questions, so hopefully he will play."

But Neesham, who only recently returned to the side after a long injury lay-off and was himself an injury replacement for Corey Anderson, was replaced by Mitchell McClenaghan in the squad.

Coach Mike Hesson said: "Jimmy has worked hard to get back to fitness following his injury earlier this year, but at this stage still experiences discomfort when bowling extended loads.

"Jimmy will return to New Zealand for further medical assessment. At this stage our No.1 priority is getting Jimmy fully healthy and ready for the home summer."