Wellington - In-form all-rounder Mitchell Santner will miss
the upcoming Test series with England to undergo knee surgery, New Zealand
Cricket said on Wednesday.
Officials said Santner would be sidelined for six to nine
months, which could also jeopardise planned stints in the Indian Premier League
and English county cricket.
The 26-year-old was omitted from New Zealand's 12-man squad
for the two-Test series against England starting at Eden Park on March 22.
He was in fine form for the one-day series against England,
hitting two half centuries.
NZC said he felt some discomfort while playing and scans
showed a "bone defect" had deteriorated and needed surgery.
"Mitchell is a key player in all three formats for us,
so we'll certainly miss him in the upcoming series," coach Mike Hesson
"It's important though that he gets this fixed and we
have him back for what is a big next 18 months for us."
There was some good news for New Zealand, with wicketkeeper
BJ Watling returning from a hip injury.
Batsman Ross Taylor was also named in the squad after
missing the final ODI against England following a thigh injury that was
aggravated during the previous match when he scored 181.
"BJ is a proven performer at Test level for us and
brings a lot to the group both on and off the field," selector Gavin
Spinning all-rounder Todd Astle has also been called into
the squad as a like-for-like replacement for Santner.
New Zealand: Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult