New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson ruled out of the home series versus Pakistan owing to a partial stress fracture to his lumbar spine. The injury will require four to six weeks of rest before returning to training, New Zealand Cricket confirmed on Wednesday (December 16).
Lockie Ferguson Ruled Out of Pakistan Series
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.
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.
“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.
“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,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said in a statement.
The New Zealand cricket board added in a statement that he will however not need any surgery.
Ferguson has also been ruled out of the upcoming T20 and Test series against Pakistan, which starts in Auckland on Friday. His injury had come to light after the T20I series against West Indies.
Huge setback for New Zealand
Just earlier this week, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq had said that Lockie Ferguson would be a major threat for his batsmen in the upcoming series against New Zealand.
“If New Zealand have [Lockie] Ferguson as their main pacer who clocked around 150 kph, then we have three to four fast bowlers with a similar knack. If they think they can challenge us with pace then they also have to face the same challenge as well,” Misbah had said.
New Zealand will play three T20s and two Tests against Pakistan, after which they face Australia at home in a five-match T20 series starting in late February.
The ‘Black Caps’ then host Bangladesh in a limited-overs series comprising three one-day internationals and three T20s that ends on March 28.