SA tour doubts for injured Doug Bracewell
Black Caps seamer Doug Bracewell is under an injury cloud, just a week before he is due to fly out for the tour of South Africa.
Bracewell suffered a bad knock to his thumb when playing for Central Districts in a Twenty20 match against Wellington at McLean Park in Napier on Friday.
The 22-year-old, named in both the Black Caps test and Twenty20 sides for the tour, will undergo X-rays on his hand in Wellington today to determine whether his thumb is broken or badly sprained.
Bracewell will almost certainly miss Central Districts' Plunket Shield clash against Wellington, starting in Wellington tomorrow.
"At the moment, Doug's a question mark because he took a knock on the thumb [on Friday]," Central Districts coach Alan Hunt told the Sunday Star-Times.
"He's due down to Wellington tomorrow to have an X-ray on that thumb.
"There is some thought that it's not broken but pretty sprained.
"The likelihood is that he's not going to be able to play, but we'll know more a little later."
New Zealand Cricket did not respond to inquiries last night on whether Bracewell's injury put him in doubt for the South African tour.
The potential absence of the right-arm quick would make tackling South Africa, the world's No 1 ranked test team, that much more difficult for new captain Brendon McCullum.
Ross Taylor pulled out of the tour this week after being stripped of the captaincy.
Despite claiming only two wickets in New Zealand's two recent tests against Sri Lanka, Bracewell has taken 42 wickets in 13 tests since his debut against Zimbabwe in November last year.
He famously claimed nine wickets in the Black Caps' upset test victory over Australia in Hobart a year ago.
Twenty20 squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Derek de Boorder, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Nathan McCullum, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Rob Nicol.
Test squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Bruce Martin, Jeetan Patel, Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.
Sunday Star Times