In a recent setback for New Zealand, Tim Southee is set to undergo surgery for the thumb injury he sustained during a match against England last week.
The injury occurred when Southee attempted to take a catch at slip offered by Joe Root at Lord’s, resulting in a dislocated and fractured right thumb. However, there remains a glimmer of hope that Southee could still make it to the World Cup.
Head coach Gary Stead expressed optimism about Southee’s recovery and said that it would be a matter of ensuring that Southee can tolerate the pain and manage the actual wound when returning to train and play.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed that the surgery goes well for Tim; he’ll have some pins or screws inserted in his right thumb and, providing the procedure is a success, it will be a matter of ensuring Tim can tolerate the pain and manage the actual wound when returning to train and play, head coach Gary Stead said as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
The opening game of the World Cup for New Zealand is scheduled for Thursday, October 5, in Ahmedabad. This date is seen as the target for Southee’s potential availability. Stead emphasised Southee’s importance to the team, describing him as a hugely experienced and important figure in the team.
“Our opening game of the World Cup against England is not until Thursday, October 5 in Ahmedabad, so that would be our logical target in terms of his availability. Tim’s a hugely experienced and important figure in our team and we want to give him every chance to be part of this World Cup campaign,” he added.
Southee, who is New Zealand’s third-highest wicket-taker in ODIs with 214 wickets at an average of 33.60, has participated in three previous World Cups. He was included in New Zealand’s squad as one of the four specialist quicks alongside Trent Boult, Matt Henry, and Lockie Ferguson. Additionally, Kane Williamson, who is returning from an ACL injury, is also part of the squad, although his availability remains uncertain.
In preparation for the World Cup, New Zealand are set to play two warm-up matches: one against Pakistan on September 29 and another against South Africa on October 2.