Vettori cleared but Mills heads for surgery
New Zealand's captain Daniel Vettori has been declared fit for the first Test against Pakistan but there was no such good news for Kyle Mills, who needs shoulder surgery and is expected to miss at least four months. Vettori will lead the side for the opening Test in Dunedin, starting next Tuesday, after missing the two Twenty20s in the UAE due to concussion.
He suffered the problem when struck on the helmet while batting during the ODI series against Pakistan and sat out of the last part of the tour as a precautionary measure. Vettori has also been battling a shoulder injury but after being assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon, he has been cleared to play as the problem will not affect his ability to bowl.
However, Mills does require an operation for a torn rotator cuff on his left shoulder and he will have surgery in the next fortnight. Mills will also take the opportunity to deal with an ongoing knee injury that has not affected his ability to play; he will have surgery on the patella tendon of his right knee.
Mills is likely to be out of action for at least four months, meaning he will almost certainly miss the entire home summer. New Zealand are hoping Mills will be able to return in time for the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies in April.
"The shoulder injury was a bit of a freak accident. I just landed on it as I dived for a ball and landed awkwardly and tore my rotator cuff off the bone," Mills told Radio Sport. "I tried to do a lot of rehab on that over the winter and it just got to the stage on the last tour [of Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy] that it was really affecting my bowling.
"The knee problem is just the general wear and tear of an international bowler. It's been bugging me for a good two years and I have been trying to play through it but it's just got to the stage where I can't put up with it any more."