Black Caps beset by injuries ahead of home summer

Black Caps

New Zealand’s pre-season hasn’t exactly proceeded according to plan with several key Black Caps suffering injuries.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead is, however, hopeful that the injuries will not become long-term concerns ahead of the start of the international summer against West Indies later this month.

Black Caps injury worries grow

New Zealand’s first-class competition, the Plunket Shield, has started with two rounds of action completed but while the competition provides match practice for Black Caps players the risk of injuries after a long break remains high.

Fast bowlers Tim Southee and Neil Wagner, as well as allrounder Colin de Grandhomme, are among those to have been added to the list while spinner Ajaz Patel and batsman Henry Nicholls are yet to feature due to pre-existing injuries.

Stead remains upbeat about the forthcoming series and believes most of his regular squad will be fit.

“Injuries are always a concern and we’re certainly monitoring each case closely with our medical staff,” Stead said. 

“Tim Southee and Henry Nicholls are both expected to be fit for round four of the Plunket Shield.

“Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme both have niggles and we are awaiting scan results on their respective injuries to ascertain the next steps.

“Likewise, Ajaz Patel had a scan on his left calf after suffering a setback in his return to play rehabilitation. An update on Neil, Ajaz and Colin will be provided once their scan results have been received and assessed.”

New Zealand set to launch season against Windies

Stead will be eager to get Southee and de Grandhomme back into action before the T20I series against the West Indies that starts on 27 November. The first match of the series will be played at Eden Park and the final two matches will be contested at the Bay Oval.

New Zealand will also face the men from the Caribbean in a Two-Test series that gets underway on 3 December.

The Black Caps will welcome back skipper Kane Williamson and fast bowling kingpin Trent Boult and allrounder Mitchell Santner after they conclude their involvement in the Indian Premier League.

New Zealand will welcome Pakistan for a series with a similar schedule with three T20Is followed by two Test matches.