New Delhi - The West Indies' Cricket World Cup hopes suffered a major body blow on Saturday when key all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee injury.
Bravo, a veteran of 110 internationals, suffered the injury while bowling in his team's opening defeat against South Africa at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.
He was initially ruled out for the remainder of the league stage, but is now flying back to the Caribbean for treatment on the damaged left knee.
A scan revealed the 27-year-old, who made 40 in the seven-wicket defeat to South Africa, had sprained his anterior cruciate ligament and torn his knee cartilage.
"This is a blow for us. Dwayne is our vice-captain and one of the key members of our team," said coach Ottis Gibson.
"He has been showing good form with the bat and batted well against South Africa.
"He is also a livewire in the field and a reliable bowler. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope he gets back on the field soon."
The West Indies lost opening batsman Adrian Barath and wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh to injury before a ball was bowled in the World Cup, with Kirk Edwards and Devon Thomas called in as replacements.
Fast bowler Tino Best, who has played 14 Tests and 12 one-day internationals, is the third reserve on the West Indies World Cup list.
But the 29-year-old is under a disciplinary cloud having been banned for Barbados's recent match against the England Lions following a training session bust-up with coaching staff.
Former champions West Indies tackle the Netherlands in New Delhi in their next Group B game on Monday.