England in New Zealand 2012-13 February 21, 2013

Thumb surgery puts Guptill out of series

ESPNcricinfo staff

Martin Guptill, the New Zealand batsman, has been ruled out of the remainder of the England series due to a thumb injury. Guptill needs surgery to repair the ligament damage he suffered on his left thumb earlier in the series. He will be replaced by Otago's Hamish Rutherford, who made his debut earlier this week, in the one-day squad.

Guptill has been a regular at the top of the order for several years across all formats, and his injury will further weaken an already fragile Test batting line-up in the three matches coming up against England.

He played a key role in New Zealand's win in the first one-dayer on Sunday, when he batted on one leg after a hamstring injury to help complete a narrow victory.

The New Zealand team physiotherapist, Paul Close, said that Guptill could have continued to play in the short term despite the thumb injury, but decided to push for the operation early. "We felt it was best to get Martin right for the tour to England in May and June," Close said, "so the next couple of months were seen as the best window to have the surgery."

The one-day series is tied 1-1 with the final match on Saturday. The first of the three Tests in the series starts on March 6th in Dunedin.

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