West Indies news June 6, 2012

Gabriel unlikely to be fit for New Zealand series

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shannon Gabriel, the injured West Indies fast bowler, has said he is not likely to be fit in time for the home Test series against New Zealand, which begins on July 25. Gabriel is recovering from a stress reaction in his back, which he picked up during his debut Test against England in May.

"I've been [recuperating for] three weeks now, the pain is not there anymore," Gabriel told the Trinidad Express. "So [it's about] getting more fit and stronger now, and [then it's] back to cricket.

"I don't think I'll be ready for the New Zealand series. [Closer] to the end of the year, there's a tour to Bangladesh ... hopefully I can be on that team." West Indies are scheduled to play Bangladesh in November.

Gabriel took 3 for 60 in the first innings at Lord's, dismissing Ian Bell, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann. In the second, he bowled only five overs, during which he removed Kevin Pietersen. Subsequent scans showed a stress reaction in the lower spine, ruling him out of the remainder of the tour.

Adjusting to the standards of Test cricket, Gabriel said, had been a challenge. "Over there [in England], it was international cricket," he said. "It was a big step away from regional cricket. You have to concentrate a little more on what you want to do and the actual planning. It's every cricketer's dream to play at Lord's and it just happened to be me. [Now I must] get back from injury and address the selectors once more."

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