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Finger fracture puts Wagner in doubt for South Africa Tests

New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner has fractured his left ring finger while playing in the domestic List A tournament, the Ford Trophy, putting him in doubt for New Zealand's Test series against South Africa in March.

Wagner picked up the injury while fielding off his own bowling on February 1, when turning out for Otago against Auckland.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said the "initial assessment" on Wagner's finger is that it will need "four to six weeks" to heal. The first Test against South Africa begins on March 8 in Dunedin. Two more Tests follow, beginning on March 16 and 25.

Hesson said the New Zealand set-up would be doing everything it could to get Wagner ready for the series, and the next two weeks would be crucial in determining a more definite timeline for his recovery. "The initial assessment is that Neil will require four to six weeks for recovery, but we'll be in a position to make a better judgement on that in the next couple of weeks.

"Neil's an important member of our Test side and he is obviously desperate to play in such a big series, so we'll do everything we can to get him back on the park as soon as possible."