BLACKCAPS pace bowler Kyle Jamieson will return home to New Zealand after an MRI scan revealed a stress-reaction to his lower left back.
The 27-year-old sustained the injury while bowling on day three of the second Test against England and coach Gary Stead expected he would require four to six weeks of rest before beginning a rehabilitation program targeting a potential return to play in September or October.
Central Stags pace bowler Blair Tickner, who was with the Test side in England for the early tour games, has been called into the squad as Jamieson’s replacement and will arrive in the UK prior to the third Test at Leeds next week.
Tickner’s domestic teammate Dane Cleaver has received his maiden Test call-up as a replacement for wicket-keeper Cam Fletcher who has also been ruled out of the tour with a grade-two right-hamstring strain.
Fletcher sustained the injury while fielding on day four of the second Test and will require six to eight weeks to recover.
Cleaver was called up to the BLACKCAPS for the first time as part of the T20 side to face the Netherlands in March, however the one-off match was abandoned due to weather.
Stead expressed his sympathy for Jamieson and Fletcher and thanked them for their efforts.
“It’s always sad to see players forced to leave a tour early with injury,” Stead said.
“Kyle had played such a big role in the first Test at Lord’s and I know how disappointed he was to have had his involvement in the second Test curtailed.
“He’s obviously a huge asset for us and we’ll be making sure we are patient with his recovery to ensure he returns fully fit with plenty more important cricket still to come later this year.
“It’s exciting for Blair and Dane to be joining us for the final Test at Headingley next week.
“Blair was with us for the first part of the tour and his skills will be a valuable asset to the squad.
“It will be Dane’s first experience with the Test side and I know he can’t wait to get here and soak it up.”
The BLACKCAPS will have a couple of days off before regrouping in Leeds ahead of the third Test at Headingley starting on Thursday June 23.