New Zealand's premier fast bowler Tim Southee is expected to return from injury during Black Caps' three-match Test series against visiting England team.
Southee injured his thumb fielding for Northern Districts against Wellington in a Plunket Shield clash, at Karori Park in Wellington, on December 19, Stuff.co.nz reports.
Early estimates were that Southee would miss six to eight weeks of cricket, but the 24-year-old remains out of the international setup after missing selection for the Black Caps' Twenty20 and one-day teams to play England.
National selection manager Kim Littlejohn said they want to take a conservative approach to Southee's return, but hope that he will be available for the test series, starting on March 6 in Dunedin.
Littlejohn said the next couple of weeks in terms of Southee's rehab will tell, but medical reports are he's going really well at the moment.
Southee, who missed the entire South African tour, was in fine form for North Districts before the injury, scoring 156 and taking seven wickets in the Wellington clash.
Littlejohn said Southee's progress has been slow but it's going well, adding he had broken his thumb rather badly and ruptured a tendon.
Littlejohn said New Zealand didn't wanted to rush Southee into making an international return. (ANI)