New Zealand's spinning all-rounder Mitchell Santner has been ruled out of the two-Test series against England with a knee injury that will keep him out of action for up to nine months, New Zealand Cricket said on Wednesday. Santner suffered some discomfort during the limited overs series against England and the scans revealed a bone defect. Leg-spinner Todd Astle has been brought in as the 26-year-old's replacement for the series starting at Eden Park on March 22.
The injured left-arm spinner will also be sidelined for the upcoming season of IPL for Chennai Super Kings and his first County season with Derbyshire.
"Mitchell is a key player in all three formats for us, so we'll certainly miss him in the upcoming series," coach Mike Hesson said.
"It's important though that he gets this fixed and we have him back for what is a big next 18 months for us."
There was some good news for New Zealand, with wicketkeeper BJ Watling returning from a hip injury.
Ross Taylor was also named in the squad after missing the final ODI against England following a thigh injury that was aggravated during the previous match when he scored 181.
"BJ is a proven performer at Test level for us and brings a lot to the group both on and off the field," selector Gavin Larsen said.
New Zealand: Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.
(With AFP inputs)