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News

Wagner out of second Test against Sri Lanka; Bracewell called up

Batter Will Young will be released to play in the Plunket Shield between the Tests

Neil Wagner will be out of action for around six weeks  •  Getty Images

Neil Wagner will be out of action for around six weeks  •  Getty Images

Neil Wagner has been ruled out of the second Test against Sri Lanka with a bulging disc in his back and a torn right hamstring. The recovery time for the injuries is around six weeks.
Wagner had left the field late in the third session on day three of the ongoing Test in Christchurch, feeling serious discomfort in his back and leg. He failed a fitness Test before play on day four on Sunday but will be available to bat if required.
In December, Wagner signed a deal with Yorkshire to play the first ten games of the County Championship season, though now appears unlikely to be fit for their opening fixture against Leicestershire on April 6.
New Zealand, meanwhile, have called up seamer Doug Bracewell into the squad.
"We all know how much playing Test cricket for New Zealand means to Neil and we are all disappointed to see him side-lined like this," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said. "The fact he was still hoping to play on, carrying these injuries shows you just how determined he is to try and give his all for the team.
"Doug is a skilful bowler who has been in strong form for the Central Stags across formats this season. We believe his skills will complement the rest of the bowlers we have in the group going into the next Test."
Bracewell, 32, had last played a Test in 2016. In addition to the three fast bowlers still playing the first Test - Tim Southee, Matt Henry, and Blair Tickner - New Zealand also have right-armer Scott Kuggeleijn in the squad. Where Kuggeleijn only made his Test debut last month, Bracewell brings substantially more experience, having played 27 Tests where he has bagged 72 wickets.
Will Young, who is part of the Test squad, will be released to play in the next round of the Plunket Shield. He will return before the second Test starts on Friday.
"We think it's important for Will to keep getting cricket under his belt," Stead said. "With the timing of this round and the next Test we thought it was a good opportunity to get him on the park and have time in first-class match conditions."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf