Two-time world champion Nathan Nukunuku has been called into the Black Sox as injury cover for captain Rhys Casley for the world softball championship, starting this week.
Nukunuku has been included at the expense of rookie Jerome Haretuku on the 17-man roster as second baseman Casley has been battling for fitness since shoulder surgery late last year and aggravated his injury during last week's Dean Schick tournament.
While he seems capable of fulfilling his duties with the bat, his ability to operate at 100 per cent in the field is questionable and Nukunuku has been recalled to cover that contingency.
"Rhys is an integral member of this Black Sox side, and is our leader on and off the diamond," coach Eddie Kohlhase said.
"It's imperative we continue to work with him before and during the world championship to maximise his contribution on the diamond.
"He can still hit and we plan to use him as required during the tournament, but to cover the possible loss of a specialist infielder, we've added Nathan to the group."
Outfielder Haretuku, in his first world championship campaign, has drawn the short straw to make way for Nukunuku.
"Jerome has worked hard for his chance, and we certainly cannot fault his dedication and contribution to the team. I know he's disappointed, but I also know he's young enough to help us win world titles for a while to come."
The Black Sox will play Czech Republic in a warm-up game in Penrose tomorrow, with the world championship starting on Friday at Rosedale Park.
- Fairfax Media
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