New Zealand have suffered yet another devastating injury blow ahead of the third Test against South Africa after frontline seamer Tim Southee was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The Black Caps are without veteran middle-order batsman Ross Taylor who suffered a low-grade calf tear in the first Test and will have to wait to find out if seamer Trent Boult will be fit to face the Proteas in Hamilton.
New Zealand Cricket issued a media release making announcing the injury: "Tim Southee has been ruled out of the third ANZ Test against South Africa due to a hamstring injury.
"A scan today showed Southee to have suffered a grade one tear of his left hamstring. The 28-year-old felt discomfort following the second Test in Wellington and as a precautionary measure was sent for a scan. While only a minor tear, he will not be fit for the upcoming match beginning Saturday.
"No replacement will be added to the current squad."
The injury makes it a near certainty that New Zealand will play both spinners in their squad although if Boult is fit enough to play New Zealand may opt to retain Colin de Grandhomme in the allrounder's slot.
South Africa have injury concerns of their own with Quinton de Kock set to undergo a late fitness Test after injuring his right index finger during the Proteas second Test victory over New Zealand in Wellington.