BLACKCAPS paceman Lockie Ferguson has been diagnosed with a partial stress fracture to his lumbar spine and will require four to six weeks of rest before returning to training.
The injury to the left-side of his back surfaced after the recent T20 series against the West Indies and subsequent scans and imaging confirmed the partial fracture.
Ferguson will not need surgery, but instead requires a period of rest and rehabilitation before considering any return to play later this summer.
BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead said it was a blow to lose Ferguson, but backed him to come back.
“We’re all really feeling for Lockie,” he said.
“Injuries are certainly part of our sport, but to get something like this when you’re at the very top of your game is especially disappointing.
“The pace and skill he’s been able to consistently produce has made him one of the very best white ball bowlers in the world and a huge asset for the BLACKCAPS.
“Lockie has a great attitude and I know he’s up for the fight so he’ll get stuck into the rehab and we’re still hopeful he may get back on the park at the back end of summer.”
Ferguson will likely miss all of the Auckland Aces Super Smash campaign which runs from late December through to the final on February 14.
The BLACKCAPS end to the international home-season sees Australia arrive in late February for five T20 Internationals, before Bangladesh conclude the summer with three T20Is and three ODIs, the final game being played on March 28.