The West Indies start their New Zealand tour in 12 days' time and the clock is ticking for senior players battling injury niggles.
A medical bulletin from New Zealand Cricket yesterday highlighted five senior players, and it was a mixed bag.
Captain Brendon McCullum, who pulled out early from the Bangladesh tour to rest a sore back, is doing light training and is expected to be named today in the New Zealand XI to face the West Indians in their tour opener starting at Lincoln on November 27.
There is encouraging progress from swing bowler Tim Southee. He played two of the three ODIs in Bangladesh this month and looked good, coming off ankle surgery. The trick is getting him ready for first-class matches, ahead of the first test starting in Dunedin on December 3.
Southee, who has two HRV T20 games for Northern Districts against Otago and Central Districts tonight and tomorrow night in Hamilton, is being lined up for ND's Plunket Shield game against CD from November 26.
No 3 batsman Kane Williamson, who fractured his left thumb fielding in Bangladesh, has movement back in it but will get an update next week. Senior batsman Ross Taylor has been battling a niggling patella tendon injury since returning at the end of the Bangladesh trip. He has rehabiliation over the next week but the plan is to have him ready for that ND-CD game in Hamilton.
Martin Guptill threw a scare into the injury scenario at Eden Park yesterday. Having got to 62 for Auckland against Canterbury on the second day he took time out to rest a tight hamstring yesterday, before returning and reaching 85 in Auckland's second innings' 357.
Chasing 249 to win, Canterbury were 16 without loss at stumps. Auckland opener Jeet Raval hit his second hundred in three innings, his 107 signalling solid early-season form.