Daryl Tuffey will miss up to six weeks with a broken left hand after being struck by Mitchell Johnson on the final day of New Zealand's loss at the Basin Reserve. Tuffey will have surgery on Thursday, having fractured the fourth metacarpal, and is in doubt for the World Twenty20, which begins in the West Indies late next month.
The injury is likely to mean a reprieve for Tim Southee for the second Test against Australia in Hamilton on Saturday, when the offspinner Jeetan Patel will come into strong contention. The captain Daniel Vettori said it was a disappointing blow for Tuffey, who did not take any wickets in Wellington but would have retained his place at Seddon Park.
"He's a bit down in the dumps," Vettori said. "He wanted to finish the season on a high and play in the Test match in Hamilton and have a bit of a break building up to that Twenty20 World Cup. Now it's all a bit touch and go for him. He's a guy who has been pretty consistent for us since he's come back in to the team, he's done a really good job.
"He didn't take the wickets in this game that he would have liked but I actually think he bowled relatively well and he knows Hamilton conditions well, so he is a loss for us. Jeetan Patel, we'll look to include him if the wicket suits it. You could have logically guessed that he would have come in for Tim, but it may mean a change of thinking."
New Zealand's fast-bowling attack is already missing Kyle Mills and Andy McKay through injuries, while the allrounder Grant Elliott is also out of action. They have also recently lost the veteran fast men Shane Bond and Iain O'Brien to Test retirement.
Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo