Some last minute forced changes in the Kiwi Test Squad with potential Injury concerns:
BLACKCAPS bowler Kyle Jamieson has been ruled out of the England Test series with a suspected back stress-fracture, while Matt Henry will miss the first Test at Bay Oval as he awaits the birth of his first child.
The uncapped duo of Jacob Duffy (Otago Volts) and Scott Kuggeleijn (Northern Districts) have been called into the squad and will arrive in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the opening day-night Test against England which starts on Thursday at 2pm.
Tom Blundell, who recently welcomed his second child will also link up with the side later today, along with Henry Nicholls who had his original flight from Christchurch on Monday cancelled due to Cyclone Gabrielle.
BLACKCAPS coach Stead acknowledged it had been a busy few days, but was hopeful with the changes now confirmed the team could focus on the preparation ahead.
“Firstly, we’re delighted for Tom and Kate to have welcomed their second child into the world,” he said.
“Family is always the priority in our environment and that’s informed the decision around Matt and his availability for the Test. We wish him and his wife Holly all the best as they await the birth of their first child in Christchurch.”
Stead confirmed Jamieson’s suspected back stress-fracture was picked up in an MRI scan and is a reoccurrence of the injury that ruled him out of the England Test tour in June.
Since then Jamieson has returned to play for the Auckland Aces in the Dream11 Super Smash and Ford Trophy as well as last week’s New Zealand XI warm-up match against England in Hamilton.
While Jamieson came through those games without issue, Stead said the latest scan results post the two-day warm-up match revealed the suspected fracture which required more investigation.
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“It’s really gutting for Kyle to have this happen after he’d put so much hard work in to getting himself back on the park.
“Since the injury in June we’ve certainly taken a cautious approach to managing his return with regular monitoring by our medical staff which has included scans.
“While Kyle’s not feeling any pain, the evidence is pretty clear he has a stress-fracture and so he’ll return to Christchurch today and have a CT scan on Friday before we decide on the next steps.”
Duffy has been included on the past two Test tours to England and is the second top wicket-taker at the halfway stage of the Plunket Shield with 22 wickets and two five-wicket hauls to his name.
With Henry expected to be available for the second Test in Wellington starting February 24, a decision on the make-up of the squad will be made post the first Test.