In a major blow to New Zealand, in-form all-rounder Mitchell Santner has been ruled out of cricket for six to nine months due to a knee injury.
The 26-year-old felt discomfort in his right knee during the recent limited-overs series against England and Australia and a scan at the time revealed a "bone defect".
A further scan in recent days has shown that the defect had deteriorated further and that he would now require to undergo surgery to get it fixed.
Santner will be operated on later this week, before he begin an extensive rehabilitation.
Confirming the news, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said that Santner experienced some discomfort while playing and now scans showed that a "bone defect" had deteriorated and is required him to undergo surgery.
"Mitchell is a key player in all three formats for us, so we'll certainly miss him in the upcoming series. It's important though that he gets this fixed and we have him back for what is a big next 18 months for us," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said.
As a result, Santner has been left out of the New Zealand's 12-man squad for the two-match Test series against England, beginning March 22 at the Eden Park in Auckland.
The injury also looks set to rule the all-rounder out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and English county cricket in coming months.
While leg-spinner Todd Astle has been called in as a Santner's replacement for the upcoming Test series, wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has also returned to the side after recovering fully from a hip injury.
Batsman Ross Taylor, who missed the final ODI against England following a thigh injury that was aggravated during the previous match, has also been named in the squad.
The New Zealand squad for England series is as follows:
New Zealand: Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.
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