ANI Photo | New Zealand pacer Tim Southee to undergo surgery on injured thumb ahead of 2023 WC

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee will undergo surgery on the thumb he dislocated and fractured in the team’s final ODI against England on Saturday.
A decision on Southee’s availability for Cricket World Cup 2023 will be made next week after the fast bowler elected to undergo surgery. 
New Zealand Cricket confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon after Southee sustained the injury in the final ODI on Saturday at Lord’s, and the 34-year-old’s selection will likely be determined by doctors after evaluating the success of the procedure.
“A decision on the senior pace-bowler’s availability for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in India will be made early next week once the results of the surgery are known,” New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said in an official statement.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead remained hopeful Southee could recover in time to be available for the tournament. 
“We’ve got our fingers crossed that the surgery goes well for Tim. He’ll have some pins or screws inserted in his right thumb and, providing the procedure is a success, it will be a matter of ensuring Tim can tolerate the pain and manage the actual wound when returning to train and play,” Stead said in an official NZC statement. 
“Our opening game of the World Cup against England is not until October 5 in Ahmedabad, so that would be our logical target in terms of his availability. Tim’s obviously a hugely experienced and important figure in our team and we want to give him every chance to be part of this World Cup campaign,” he added. 
In the run-up to the Cricket World Cup 2023, New Zealand is dealing with a number of problems. Daryl Mitchell also gave the team a scare when he left the field in the same game as Southee, with a minor finger injury that shouldn’t have any bearing on the all-rounder.
The fitness of Kane Williamson, who recently underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, will also be taken into consideration by the Black Caps. The ODI captain is a member of New Zealand’s Cricket World Cup squad but has not yet participated in a competitive match since suffering the injury.
The Blaclcaps will play two tournament warm-up matches starting with Pakistan in Hyderabad on September 29, followed by a meeting with South Africa in Trivandrum on October 2.
The New Zealand-based World Cup players not on the current tour of Bangladesh will depart to India from next Tuesday. (ANI)

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