Daniel Vettori was on Thursday ruled out of playing in the second and final Test against England starting in Leeds on Friday after doubts over his ability to last a five-day match.
Former captain Vettori hasn't played a Test for nearly a year, mainly because of Achilles trouble, and was only originally selected for the one-day leg of this tour.
But a calf injury suffered by his fellow left-arm spinner Bruce Martin during New Zealand's thumping 170-run first Test defeat at Lord's saw Vettori make an earlier than expected arrival in England.
He trained Wednesday but New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum told reporters at Headingley on Thursday: "Dan's out of tomorrow's game unfortunately.
"We obviously gave it our best shot with Dan but it he didn't scrub up that well today and just the confidence to go into a five-day game, with the workload he's had, it was just a bridge too far unfortunately."
Vettori, New Zealand's jointly most-capped Test player of all-time with 111 appearances, a mark he shares with Stephen Fleming, has taken 359 Test wickets for his country -- a record only bettered for the Black Caps by Richard Hadlee.
But he hasn't played a Test since facing the West Indies in Antigua in July last year.
And with a one-day series with England and the ICC Champions Trophy in the UK on the horizon, McCullum said there was no point risking Vettori at Headingley.
"He's got a biggish month and a a bit coming up for us as well. That's one of the things we looked at as well. Would we sacrifice the coming few weeks as well? That wasn't the right thing for Dan, it wasn't the right thing for us."
As for the 34-year-old Vettori's long-term Test prospects, McCullum said a cloud now hung over the bowler's future in the five-day game.
"It's going to be a rolling conversation we need to have with Dan about what he needs to prioritise with where he's at in his career and how many overs he has got under his belt as well," McCullum said.
"It would be nice to think he would be able to play every game in all three forms but it's also not realistic as well but we need to continue to have those conversations as we go along.
"I certainly see a place for him in the team. It would be silly for us to sweep away 112 (Vettori also played for an ICC XI) Test matches, close to 400 wickets and six Test centuries."
McCullum, asked if Vettori wanted to play Test cricket, replied: "Yes, which is why he jumped on a plane as soon as he got the phone call.
"He's a great guy to have around, a tremendous player and very keen to help out the New Zealand cricket team. It was just disappointing he wasn't able to get across the line on this one as well.
Doug Bracewell, who missed out at Lord's, will play at Headingley meaning the tourists will field four seamers, with spin provided by part-time off-break bowler Kane Williamson.
"He's been outstanding in warm-up games on this tour," McCullum said of Bracewell. "Hopefully, we get the cloud cover and our seamers are able to prosper."
"I don't see Kane's workload being increased that much. He's a viable bowling option for us but we certainly don't want to be looking to bank 20, 25 overs from him because that's not fair on him either."