New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee has been ruled out of the three-match Test series against India which begins on September 22 in Kanpur after a scan revealed a grade two ligament strain in his left ankle.
Southee felt pain in his left foot during a training session and will now head back to New Zealand for rest and rehabilitation with a goal to be fit for the start of the five-match ODI series beginning on October 16 in Dharamsala.
"Tim has been working hard in preparation for this tour, so he's understandably very disappointed to be ruled out of all three Tests," said New Zealand coach Mike Hesson. "The focus now is for Tim to give his ankle 7-10 days rest, before slowly building his bowling loads back up ahead of the ODI series."
The injury news robs New Zealand of their most experienced Test bowler, with Southee having taken 177 wickets in 52 Tests. Trent Boult is the next most capped New Zealand bowler, having played 43 Tests.
Matt Henry has been drafted in as Southee's replacement. Henry, 24, has played four Tests for New Zealand since debuting against England at Lord's in May 2015. His last Test came in February against Australia at Christchurch where he finished with 0 for 134 in a combined 41 overs across both innings of Australia's seven-wicket win. He was included in New Zealand's Test squads for the tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa but did not play in any of the four Tests.