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November 23, 2005
"Stephen last week had a potentially cancerous tumour removed from his jaw-line in front of his left ear, and yesterday received the very good news that the tumour was benign," Lindsay Crocker, New Zealand Cricket's general manager, said in a statement. "The size of the tumour caused nerve damage which was repaired with further surgery on Wednesday.
"Stephen will aim to play for Wellington in a State Championship match against Canterbury beginning at Christchurch on December 5 and will be considered for the final ODI against Australia on December 10.
"We are very pleased for Stephen who must have had a stressful time over the past week. When he was selected we did not know whether he would be available for the first match or whether he would be out for a longer period, but now hope that he will be fit to play on December 5.
"Daniel Vettori will captain the side which will present him with a valuable opportunity to captain the team at home against the world champions. Nathan Astle will step in as the vice-captain. With Stephen being ruled out of the first two matches, the squad is now 13 and no-one will be added to or released from the squad for the first match."
New Zealand squad Daniel Vettori (capt), Nathan Astle, Hamish Marshall, Scott Styris, Lou Vincent, Jacob Oram, James Marshall, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, Brendon McCullum (wk), Shane Bond, James Franklin, Kyle Mills.
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