Southee out of Pakistan T20s with foot injury
The bruising in Tim Southee's left foot will keep the pacer out of the three-match T20 series against Pakistan, New Zealand Cricket confirmed on Sunday. Southee suffered the injury during the third ODI against Sri Lanka, and though it was originally hoped he could recover in time for T20s against Pakistan, a CT scan has revealed slightly more serious bruising.
New Zealand have not set a date for Southee's return, but said they will continue to monitor the injury. Batting coach Craig McMillan told radio station Newstalk ZB that the aim was to have him fit for the ODIs against Australia, which begin on February 3. For now, New Zealand have only ruled him out for the T20 leg of Pakistan tour.
"It's something that will take a wee while to get right," McMillan said. "I'm not exactly sure of the time frame - whether it's two to three weeks - as to where he is at. The plan in place, fingers crossed, is that hopefully he'll be back for the end of the season - back firing for the Australia series."
Southee's absence will be a substantial blow, as he is seen as the spearhead of the limited overs attack. However, New Zealand have substantial depth in their pace battery. Matt Henry was took 13 wickets at an average of 9.38 in three ODIs against Sri Lanka. Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult and Adam Milne have also had good outings in the past two weeks.
"It's reassuring to have those options," McMillan said. "One of the great things from this series against Sri Lanka has been the form of Matt Henry. That shows a confidence to come into the set-up and perform straight away."
The first of Pakistan's T20s will be played in Auckland, on January 15. Their ODI series in the country begins on January 25.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando