Commonwealth Bank Series, 2006-07 February 5, 2007

Mills uncertain for World Cup

'Mills joined the squad mid-tour, but he has been hampered since playing in Perth' © Getty Images

A dose of painkillers will determine whether Kyle Mills heads to the World Cup or back home for surgery after he has struggled to overcome a debilitating knee problem. Mills is confident he can bowl with the injury, but the pain is so bad he has not been able to sleep properly for three nights and is on the verge of flying back to New Zealand.

Mills joined the squad mid-tour, but he has been hampered since playing in Perth and has limped noticeably when not operating at full pace. He had the pain-killing prescription filled today and John Bracewell, the coach, said the result of the tablets would determine his future. "If they don't work he'll probably go home for an operation and miss the World Cup," Bracewell said. "It's a big day for Kyle today."

If Mills is ruled out of the World Cup it is likely to affect two places in the squad that must be named by February 13 and Bracewell is keen to know the size of the disruption to his planning. "He's been a tremendous performer for us in one-day cricket and he would be a big loss to our campaign," he said. "That's why we've been holding him back, but at some stage we needed to lift the ante."

Mills was due to train in Brisbane this afternoon, but he is highly unlikely to take part in New Zealand's knock-out match against England at the Gabba on Tuesday. "The condition of the injury hasn't changed, it's whether he can deal with the pain," Bracewell said. "Because he's unable to sleep it makes it very difficult. He can get through the bowling alright, but he's not getting any rest or recovery and that's going to eat away at him in a tournament."

Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo