Lockie Ferguson, the New Zealand fast bowler, could make his Manchester Originals debut against Welsh Fire on Saturday after recovering from a side strain.

Ferguson missed Yorkshire's final two Vitality Blast group games after picking up the injury. He was not considered for selection in the Originals' first two Hundred fixtures and has been ruled out of Wednesday night's match against Northern Superchargers, but is in contention for the weekend game in Cardiff.

ESPNcricinfo understands the Originals had lined up Anrich Nortje, the South Africa fast bowler, as a short-term replacement for Ferguson. Nortje, who had been touring Ireland with the national team, had agreed a contract to play up to three matches, but following a delay in the processing time for his visa and with Ferguson returning to fitness sooner than expected, he is now due to return home instead.

Simon Katich, the Originals' men's head coach, said after their defeat to Oval Invincibles on Thursday night: "Lockie's got a little bit of a side strain. He got that recently playing for Yorkshire in the Blast - he's had a fantastic summer for them - and unfortunately he hasn't come up for the start of the Hundred but he's getting closer and closer. It's hard to put a timeframe on it just yet but we're hoping that he might be ready to play for us soon."

Meanwhile, Carlos Brathwaite has revealed that he is set to captain the Originals for the rest of the group stage following Jos Buttler's departure on England Test duty. "Obviously Jos is gone, so I've been asked to step in and be the men's captain," he told the BBC's No Balls podcast. Brathwaite captained West Indies in 30 T20Is between 2016 and 2019.

David Willey is due to step in as Ben Stokes' replacement as captain for the Superchargers on Wednesday night, with Faf du Plessis still sidelined after suffering symptoms of concussion in the lead-up to their first game against Welsh Fire.

Elsewhere, London Spirit have signed the Middlesex batter Joe Cracknell as a replacement for Dan Lawrence, who misses the rest of the group stage on Test duty. Cracknell, 21, has averaged 26.93 at a strike rate of 140.27 in 15 T20 appearances to date and impressed the Spirit's captained Eoin Morgan in the Vitality Blast this year.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98