Kane Williamson may have already been ruled out of the 2023 World Cup with an ACL injury on his right knee, but he will be a part of the New Zealand dressing room for the event in a mentor capacity. Coach Gary Stead has suggested that the New Zealand limited-overs skipper is in “very, very early stages of his rehab program” but they are planning to have him in a mentor role for the event.
"It's still far too early to know," Stead said ahead of the five-match series against Pakistan. "He's had the operation and, to date, what we know, that's been successful. So he is in the very, very early stages of his rehab program."
"It's obviously pretty non-weight-bearing at this stage, and he's in a brace. It's really just meeting milestones as we go. Our line around Kane, at the moment, is still it's unlikely that he will be available, but we certainly don't want to rule out a person of his class and calibre, and the things he brings to this team, too early in case there is that chance still.
Williamson suffered the injury while attempting to take a catch during Gujarat Titans' first match of the ongoing Indian Premier League, and in his absence, Tom Latham will be leading the team. Stead feels that with the World Cup schedule not out yet, the management is providing enough opportunities for players within the set-up to come good under Latham.
"It's [schedule] not out yet, so there's not much we can do about that, so it does keep our options reasonably open without knowing the venues and who we are playing at different venues. So, it does make it pretty difficult to finalise plans right now. But that again just gives players opportunities that are within the squad now to come out here and play for New Zealand."