New Zealand news August 27, 2010

Knee surgery forces Oram out of Champions League

Cricinfo staff

The allrounder Jacob Oram will have knee surgery next week that will rule him out of the Champions League Twenty20 in another painful chapter to a career plagued by injury. Scans showed damage to Oram's patella tendon and he is now hoping to return for Pakistan's visit in December. He has been replaced by the 18-year old allrounder Ben Wheeler, who played in the Under-19 World Cup this year.

It continues a tough year for Oram, who forfeited his IPL fee when he suffered a torn patella during the one-day series with Australia in March. He made it back for the World Twenty20 but continued to feel pain and aggravated the problem again during a squad camp in Australia last month.

New Zealand's team management hoped Oram would be able to get through the one-day tour of Sri Lanka but he was sent home this week. The surgery also hurts Central Districts, who have already lost Ross Taylor to Bangalore for the Twenty20 tournament in South Africa starting on September 10.

"While I'm gutted to miss the Champions League with the Stags I'm thankful the medical specialist has found the problem now so we can get the right plans in place to get it right," Oram, 32, said. "I've been told that I should be realistically targeting the Pakistan homes series at the end of the year, but who knows, if surgery and rehab goes well I may be available for selection before the Indian tour in November."

Oram described in April how his injury list had been "hellishly frustrating", and that every new problem "eroded the energy of my psyche". Despite the latest setback, he still wants to continue on until next year's World Cup.

"It's frustrating more than anything but I've been through this before," he said. "I'm confident I can return injury free following a course of rehabilitation."

His replacement, Wheeler, has played only two first-class games, and is yet to make his Twenty20 debut for Central Districts.