New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has been ruled out of the two-Test series against Pakistan with a foot injury, but there were still hopes that first-choice spinner Azaj Patel would be available, coach Gary Stead said.
Both missed the 2-0 series sweep of West Indies, which was completed on Monday with an innings and 12-run victory at the Basin Reserve after New Zealand won the first game by an innings and 134 runs in Hamilton.
“He has a stress reaction in his right foot,” Stead told reporters in Wellington on Tuesday.
“We still haven’t been able to get him back to running and then obviously bowling as well.
“Looking like hopefully a mid-January return.”
Patel would spend time with the New Zealand ‘A’ side in Whangarei to test the recovery of a lingering calf injury.
“We are hoping he will be in contention for the Test matches against Pakistan, but it’s still a bit wait and see,” said Stead.
The coach added that captain Kane Williamson was still expected to join the team for the second and third Twenty20 matches against Pakistan after he withdrew from the second West Indies Test to be with his pregnant wife.
Williamson’s first child is expected at any time, although Stead said it was still a waiting game at this stage.
New Zealand play Pakistan in the first Twenty20 match in Auckland on Friday before the second game in Hamilton on Sunday and third match in Napier on December 22.
The first Test starts on December 26 at Mt. Maunganui.