Kiwis’ injury woes go from bad to worse

James Neesham leaves the field after scoring just three for New Zealand in its second innings at the Gabba. Photo: AAP Image.
James Neesham leaves the field after scoring just three for New Zealand in its second innings at the Gabba. Photo: AAP Image.

NEW Zealand's miserable start to the Australian summer has continued, with news all-rounder James Neesham is to return home.

Making just three as the tourists attempted to save the match on the final day, Neesham looked uncomfortable at the crease as he struggled with a back problem.

The 25-year-old returned from a back stress fracture earlier this year but still is not 100% fit.

He made the Black Caps squad due to fellow all-rounder Corey Anderson's own back injury.

Neesham bowled a combined 20 overs in both innings and had figures of 1-111 and also made just three batting in the tourists' first innings.

"Jimmy has worked hard to get back to fitness following his injury earlier this year, but at this stage still experiences discomfort when bowling extended loads," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said.

"Jimmy will return to New Zealand for further medical assessment.

"At this stage our number one priority is getting Jimmy fully healthy and ready for the home summer."

Adam Milne (shin) and Ben Wheeler (back) are also out injured at the moment, leaving Mitchell McClenaghan the only real choice and the left-arm paceman has been called into the squad.

The 29-year-old has played 43 ODIs and 20 Twenty20s for the Black Caps but is yet to make his Test debut.

"Mitch has the ability to run in all day, bowl quick spells and has experience on the international stage," Hesson said.

"He'll bring a lot to the group and is obviously very excited to come and join the squad."

Tim Southee is also struggling with a back injury he picked up bowling on day one in Brisbane and looks doubtful for the second Test at the WACA, starting Friday.

Neil Wagner has already been called in as cover for Southee.


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