Martin Guptill will miss the remainder of the New Zealand season and the start of the IPL to undergo strengthening work on his hamstrings in an attempt to ensure he is fully fit for the Champions Trophy in June.
Guptill suffered injuries to both hamstrings in quick succession over the last few months and though he returned in extraordinary style, with his unbeaten 180 off 138 balls in the fourth ODI against South Africa, it has been decided that for his long-term prognosis he needs further rehabilitation.
After his century in Hamilton, and a full fifty overs in the field, Guptill said the hamstrings felt "a little stiff" but that it was nothing unexpected after his period out of the game. He did not have any middle time before his return to the one-day side.
He will travel to India for the IPL, where he was bought by Kings Punjab XI having been put back in for the second round of the auction, but won't initially be available for selection and his recovery will be monitored by New Zealand physio Tommy Simsek, who will also be at the tournament.
"At the moment Martin isn't fit to play and the time we give him now to strengthen his hamstrings will play a big role in mitigating future risk too," Simsek said. "We've put a programme in place to make sure that Martin can return to full strength and we'll continue to monitor him closely."
Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, said: "Having Martin fully fit is critical, as we all know the positive influence he has on our side. Martin knows this is an important period to get back to 100% so that he can be fully confident when he is on the park. The Champions Trophy isn't far away and we obviously want Martin firing on all cylinders for that tournament."
Guptill's times back on the sidelines means his move into the middle order for Auckland, with a view to pushing for a Test recall in that position, will not happen until the next domestic season. It also means that he will not come into consideration if New Zealand need a replacement for Ross Taylor who retired hurt on the second day in Dunedin with a calf injury. Guptill was dropped from the Test side after the tour of India in October.