4 Jan 2016

Southee out, McCullum "struggling"

1:41 pm on 4 January 2016

Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum is highly unlikely to play in tomorrow's final one day cricket match against Sri Lanka in Mt Maunganui, while senior bowler Tim Southee's definitely out.

Brendon McCullum at training

Brendon McCullum at training Photo: Photosport

McCullum's back injury hasn't progressed as well as medical staff would like, while Southee won't play tomorrow with his foot injury, and he's set to miss the two Twenty20 matches too.

The skipper hurt his back fielding in the 10-wicket victory in Christchurch, and McCullum sat out the big loss in game three in Nelson, as well as the washed-out fourth match, also at Saxton Oval.

"He's really struggling," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said.

"(He) hasn't progressed as well as we would've thought so he's probably unlikely tomorrow."

McCullum wasn't part of the Twenty20 squad anyway so Hesson thought a good break would be best for the veteran long-term, with the Pakistan series starting late next week now the target for his return.

Tim Southee

Tim Southee grimaces after hurting his foot in Nelson Photo: Photosport

Southee pulled up lame during the third one day international against Sri Lanka after having a break in the first two fixtures, but he clearly needs longer out of the game now.

"We're going to find out a little more today but he certainly won't be playing in this game and probably unlikely during the T20s, but we'll know probably a little bit more tomorrow," Hesson said.

"But there's nothing major, it's just a matter of time really."

The country's fastest bowler Trent Boult is likely to feature, while seamer Doug Bracewell, who was rested for the Nelson washout, is set to play too.

New Zealand lead the five-match series 2-1.

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