The New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram has been ruled out of action for up to a month with a patella tendon tear, meaning he will take no further part in the home ODIs against Australia and that he could miss a sizeable duration of the IPL. The Central Districts medium-pacer Michael Mason has been named as Oram's replacement in the New Zealand squad.

"Jacob Oram suffered a partial tear of the patella tendon," New Zealand team manager Dave Currie said in a statement. "It is expected that Jacob will recover in three or four weeks, however he will be out for the balance of the Australian series."

Oram, 31, sustained a knee injury during the first match in Napier. Oram's injury means he will miss a significant amount, if not the entire duration, of the upcoming IPL starting March 12. He represents the Chennai Super Kings in the league on a lucrative contract worth US$675,000 a year.

Oram suffered a variety of injuries over the past year and a half. He returned home mid-way through the tour of Bangladesh in 2008 and missed the Test series in Australia because of a back injury. A calf strain kept him out of the home Test series against West Indies and an Achilles injury cut short his participation in the one-day series that followed and the home Tests against India. He announced his retirement from Test cricket last October after the latest in that long list of injuries.

Mason, 35, has played 25 ODIs, three Twenty20s and a solitary Test for his country. New Zealand's selectors have only named a squad for the first two matches. The next match is in Auckland on Saturday.

New Zealand are also awaiting a fitness report on their captain Daniel Vettori, who missed the Napier game with a stiff neck. "He's feeling a bit more comfortable and he'll hopefully be fine tomorrow," said Currie. "He's not 100 per cent certain [to play]. The neck was a bit stiff. We're certainly hopeful and he's hopeful, but again we'll get through today and get more treatment and see how he wakes up in the morning."