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Injury worries for Black Caps ahead of West Indies series

The Black Caps have been hit with a wave of injuries just weeks out from their first international match against the West Indies with six squad members now currently sidelined from Plunket Shield action.

Gary Stead. Source: Photosport

Ahead of the third round of the domestic competition, coach Gary Stead confirmed six Black Caps will miss games for Northern Districts, Canterbury and Central Stags for varying issues.

For Northern Districts, pace duo Tim Southee [back] and Neil Wagner [groin] along with Colin de Grandhomme [right foot] are all hoped to be short term injuries. 

Southee has been benched on a "precautionary" basis while Wagner and de Grandhomme are awaiting scan results.

Further south, Henry Nicholls [left calf] and Matt Henry [broken thumb] are out of action for Canterbury. Nicholls is "on target" to return next round, Stead said, but Henry is expected to miss at least another four to six weeks, jeoperdising his involvement in the West Indies tour.

The last injury is Stags spinner Ajaz Patel, who also has a left calf injury and is awaiting scan results.

Stead said the situation isn't ideal.

“Injuries are always a concern and we’re certainly monitoring each case closely with our medical staff," Stead said.

“Tim Southee and Henry Nicholls are both expected to be fit for round four of the Plunket Shield.

“Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme both have niggles and we are awaiting scan results on their respective injuries to ascertain the next steps.

“Likewise, Ajaz Patel had a scan on his left calf after suffering a setback in his return to play rehabilitation.

“An update on Neil, Ajaz and Colin will be provided once their scan results have been received and assessed.”

The Black Caps' first match against the West Indies is a T20 on November 27 before two more matches in the shortened format take place on November 29 and 30.

Following that, they then play the Windies in two Test matches in Auckland and Wellington in early December.