Injury clouds hang over New Zealand pair Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme as they race against time to get fit for the upcoming three-Test series in Australia.
Ace paceman Boult had to withdraw the field during the first game against England after delivering just one over on the final day while de Grandhomme sustained a tear to his left lower abdominal muscle in the same match.
Both players had to sit out of the second Test of the two-match series that eventually ended in a draw courtesy of an unbroken 213-run stand between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
Boult's replacement Matt Henry failed to make an impact with the ball while debutant Daryl Mitchell, drafted into the side in place of the injured de Grandhomme, struck a vital fifty in New Zealand's first innings.
Black Caps coach Gary Stead offered an ambiguous response regarding the duo's fitness but voiced optimism over the process of their recovery.
Stead said the two individuals had until Friday to demonstrate their fitness as the team departs for Australia the next day.
"I don't know if I'm really confident, but I'm quietly optimistic that they are both tracking where we want them to be," Stead claimed.
"The plan that we've got for both of them gives them both a chance to be right for the first Test but it's still just a little bit far out to know for sure."
New Zealand's uphill battle for supremacy in Australia commences in Perth on December 12 with the first game scheduled to be a day-night affair.
The two teams took part in the historic maiden pink-ball Test match back in 2015 where Boult snaffled seven scalps including a five-wicket haul, though Australia won the closely-fought clash.