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December 16, 2008
New Zealand batsman Peter Fulton and fast bowler Chris Martin will be joining the squad in Napier as cover for the injured players James Franklin and Ross Taylor.
While Franklin suffered severe bruising after being struck in the ribs while batting during the first Test against West Indies in Dunedin, Taylor dislocated the ring finger of his right hand and also chipped the knuckle bone, while fielding. However, the two are expected to be fit in time for the second match at McLean Park starting Friday, the team management said.
"The medical people believe he will be all right," said New Zealand coach Andy Moles. "It's just his comfort level, can he cope. The swelling has gone down a bit so we'll know more tomorrow once he's had a net."
Both Fulton and Martin were dropped from the side to face West Indies at home, after disappointing performances in the two-Test series against Australia late last month. While Fulton played in just the second match at Adelaide where he managed a total of 36 in both innings, Martin picked up six wickets at 36.83 in both games.
The injuries seem to be piling up for New Zealand as Jacob Oram was ruled out of the second Test having sat out the first match, after suffering a calf strain in the lead-up. The allrounder had previously sustained a back injury during the Test series away to Bangladesh in October, that ruled him out of the second and final match, as well as the tour of Australia that followed. He then picked up a finger fracture while playing for Central Districts in the State Championship in the last week of November.
Moles was understandably disappointed with losing one of his top players, but believed exercising caution was more important. "He's a world-class performer and he's had niggles that we've got him over and we've played him perhaps just before he's been fully fit," said Moles.
"The medical team have taken the decision, with Jake, that we're going to make sure we get him back 100% right so we can start with a clean canvas and we can push on with Jake being fully fit, as opposed to rushing him back for the next game.
"He is vital to the side but we've taken the decision that's best for the team and the best for Jake to make sure we get him back 100% so we can have him over a longer period," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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