Daniel Vettori has had an operation on his troublesome Achilles in London in an attempt to extend a stellar international career.
The spinner has been dogged by an Achilles problem since his last test appearance almost 12 months ago and the 34-year-old required painkilling injections to play during this month's Champions Trophy in Britain.
This led him to opt for surgery before returning home to rehabilitate. Vettori has sought the advice of medical experts from Brisbane to Britain to pin down the exact cause of the problem and this is his latest attempt to find a permanent remedy.
"I did indeed have surgery [on Wednesday]," Vettori confirmed via email. "I'm hoping it once and for all clears up my persistent and chronic Achilles problem and lets me train and get fit again."
Vettori did a good job keeping the procedure quiet, with even his agent Greg Dyer admitting today he'd only heard "rumours" of the surgery.
The former captain showed his continued value as New Zealand bowed out at the quarter-final stage, taking two wickets with an economy rate of 3.14 in three matches.
But his participation at the tournament was enabled only by saline injections in his Achilles and he was forced to leave the field after bowling in his side's loss to England in the quarter-finals.
Before his three appearances at the Champions Trophy, Vettori's last match in a New Zealand shirt came at September's World T20 in Sri Lanka. His last test was against the West Indies in July, and he was due to play in the second test against England at Headingley before pulling out on the eve of the match.
That withdrawal owed to Vettori's lack of confidence in his body being able to hold up to the rigours of test cricket and, unless he can find a fix for his ankle, that confidence is unlikely to increase.
"In regards to my future, I will see how my rehabilitation goes before I speculate on my career. I have no set plans," Vettori said.
Vettori originally retired from the shorter forms after relinquishing the captaincy in 2011, with a view of continuing his test career. But after finding the five-day game too severe on a body that has accrued plenty of miles since his debut aged 18, the allrounder may be pinning his hopes on a swansong at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Three players have been added to the Black Caps current one-day squad to play in two Twenty20 matches against England next week.
Test opener Hamish Rutherford and another member of the test squad Tom Latham will join the side for the Twenty20 games along with spinner Roneel Hira.
Leaving the squad that was knocked out of the ICC Champions Trophy on Monday are the injured trio of Vettori, Grant Elliott and Tim Southee, along with batsmen Kane Williamson and Luke Ronchi.
Black Caps Twenty20 squad:
Brendon McCullum (Otago Volts - captain)
Corey Anderson (Northern Knights)
Doug Bracewell (Central Stags)
Ian Butler (Otago Volts)
James Franklin (Wellington Firebirds)
Martin Guptill (Auckland Aces)
Roneel Hira (Canterbury Wizards)
Tom Latham (Canterbury Wizards)
Mitchell McClenaghan (Auckland Aces)
Nathan McCullum (Otago Volts)
Kyle Mills (Auckland Aces)
Colin Munro (Auckland Aces)
Hamish Rutherford (Otago Volts)
Ross Taylor (Central Stags)