New Zealand will have to cope without Trent Boult for the remaining limited-overs fixtures in England after he was diagnosed with a stress-related back condition, similar to the injury that ruled out Corey Anderson. It is not yet known how serious the problem is but his loss is a significant blow.
Colin Munro, already in the country as a T20 signing for Worcestershire, has joined the New Zealand squad as cover for Anderson but it is expected that Ben Wheeler, another left-armer who made his debut in the third ODI at the Ageas Bowl, will step up in Boult's place.
Boult was the leading wicket-taker on either side after the first two ODIs, with six, and the only bowler to go at less than a run a ball. During the Tests, he finished level on 13 wickets with Stuart Broad and was named New Zealand's Man of the Series, troubling England throughout with his control of swing.
He reported some discomfort after the second ODI, at The Oval on Friday, which led to him being sent for a scan on his back. Boult is due to return home on Monday for further investigation of the problem. As well as a workload of 116 overs during the two Tests, he came into the tour off a first full season in the IPL.
Boult, 25, previously suffered a stress fracture of the back in 2009, which took him two years to recover from, but since recovering from that has becoming a fixture alongside Tim Southee with the new ball for New Zealand over the last few years. He has been a regular in the Test side since 2012 and, although it took him longer to establish himself in the ODI XI, he finished the World Cup, in which New Zealand were beaten finalists, as the joint-leading wicket-taker with Mitchell Starc.
New Zealand's next international commitments are in South Africa in August, when they will play two T20s and three ODIs. Later in the year, home and away series are scheduled against Australia.