Lockie Ferguson has been diagnosed with a partial stress fracture to his lumbar spine, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed on Wednesday.
The injury will require four to six weeks of recovery and rules out the pacer’s participation from the home series against Pakistan.
Lockie sustained the lower back injury during the T20I series against the West Indies last month.
While he wouldn’t require a surgery, the NZC has advised him to observe ‘a period of rest and rehabilitation’ before making his comeback.
He will miss out on the T20Is and Tests against Pakistan. And will also not feature in the Auckland Aces Super Smash T20 campaign.
“We’re all really feeling for Lockie. 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,” Gary Stead was quoted saying by Cricbuzz.
“The pace and skill he has been able to consistently produce has made him one of the best white ball bowlers in the world. He’s a huge asset for the Blackcaps. Lockie has a great attitude and I know he’s up for the fight so he’ll get stuck into the rehab. We’re still hopeful he may get back on the park at the back end of summer,” he added.
Earlier this week, all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme also got ruled out of the upcoming Tests with a stress fracture to his right knee. Additionally, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and captain Kane Williamson will also be missing out from the first T20I.
The three-match T20I series against Pakistan starts from December 18, with matches scheduled at Auckland, Hamilton, and Napier.
The two-match series features a Boxing Day Test at Mount Maunganui and a New Year Test at Christchurch.