Auckland [New Zealand], December 16 (ANI): New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Wednesday confirmed that pacer Lockie Ferguson has been diagnosed with a partial stress fracture to his lumbar spine and will require four to six weeks of rest before returning to training.
The injury to the left side of his back surfaced after the recent T20I series against the West Indies and subsequent scans and imaging later confirmed the partial fracture.
Ferguson will not be needing surgery, but instead, he will require a period of rest and rehabilitation before considering any return to play later this summer.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead said it was a blow to lose Ferguson, but he backed him to come back as soon as possible.
"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," Stead was quoted as saying in an official NZC release.
"The pace and skill he's been able to consistently produce have made him one of the very best white-ball bowlers in the world and 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 and we're still hopeful he may get back on the park at the back end of summer," he added.
Ferguson will likely miss all of the Auckland Aces Super Smash campaigns which run from late December through to the final on February 14.
New Zealand's end to the international home-season sees Australia arrive in late February for five T20Is before Bangladesh concludes the summer with three T20Is and three ODIs, the final game being played on March 28.
The Kiwis will now face Pakistan in three T20Is and two Tests. The first T20I will be played on Friday. (ANI)