Daniel Vettori will miss the second Test against West Indies, starting August 2 in Kingston, Jamaica, because of a groin strain.
Vettori, the premier spinner in the New Zealand side, managed to play on after suffering an adductor strain in the first Test, where New Zealand slumped to a nine-wicket loss, but will not be fit in time for the second Test, a New Zealand Cricket press statement said.
"Dan will return to New Zealand where here will be monitored closely and undergo a period of rehabilitation," said Paul Close, the New Zealand team physiotherapist. "He will require a rest from bowling and his return date will be determined by how well he responds to the treatment."
According to New Zealand Cricket, attempts will be made to ensure Vettori, the country's most capped Test player, is fit in time for New Zealand's tour of India, beginning August 23.
But Brendon McCullum hinted that Vettori might be a doubt even for the tour of India. "It's a huge loss, not just for his performance on the field which he has done for a number of years consistently, he has really led us from that point of view, but also what he offers us in the changing room," said McCullum. "We hope he rests up, gets himself recuperated and he comes back in a couple of months' time for us."
Vettori's place in the playing XI for the Kingston Test is likely to go to Tarun Nethula. Nethula, who has played five One-Day Internationals for New Zealand, is a 29-year-old legspinner born in Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh in India.