Lockie Ferguson On The Sidelines

New Zealand is hopeful that Lockie Ferguson has not played his last game of cricket this summer after picking up an injury.

The in-form Black Caps paceman has withdrawn from the upcoming T20 series against Pakistan and it has now been confirmed he has sustained a partial stress fracture to his lumbar spine.

The injury to the left side of his back surfaced after the T20 series against the West Indies.

Ferguson is likely to need four to six weeks rest before starting rehabilitation and returning to training.

While admitting it was a blow to lose Ferguson, Black Caps coach Gary Stead accepted the injury could have been worse and that the avoidance of surgery is a positive sign.

“There is a crack there [in Ferguson’s spine] but in terms of seriousness and how it looks, it could be a lot worse. It’s not a complete crack, which is a good sign,” Stead said on Wednesday.

“In terms of the rehab going forward, it’s too early to know in terms of looking at a return to play. But we are still hopeful there is a chance for him to be playing by the end of our season. If things go well there is that chance.”

New Zealand finish the summer by hosting Australia and Bangladesh in white ball matches.

The five T20s against Australia start in late February, before Bangladesh arrive for three T20s and three ODIs which end in late March.

“We’re all really feeling for Lockie,” Stead said.

“Injuries are certainly part of our sport, but to get something like this when you’re at the very top of your game is especially disappointing.

“The pace and skill he’s been able to consistently produce has made him one of the very best white ball bowlers in the world and a huge asset for the Black Caps.

“Lockie has a great attitude and I know he’s up for the fight so he’ll get stuck into the rehab.”

Sports news editor