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(Reuters) - New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson will be out of action for between four and six weeks with a partial stress fracture to his back but does not need surgery, the country's cricket board said on Wednesday.
Ferguson's injury came to light after the recent Twenty20 series against West Indies and the 29-year-old has already been ruled out of the upcoming T20 and test series against Pakistan, which starts in Auckland on Friday.
"We're all really feeling for Lockie," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said in a statement https://www.nzc.nz/news-items/ferguson-up-for-the-fight-as-partial-stress-fracture-confirmed. "Injuries are certainly part of our sport, but to get something like this when you're at the very top of your game is especially disappointing.
"The pace and skill he's been able to consistently produce has made him one of the very best white ball bowlers in the world and a huge asset.
"Lockie has a great attitude and I know he's up for the fight so he'll get stuck into the rehab and we're still hopeful he may get back on the park at the back end of summer."
New Zealand will play three T20s and two tests against Pakistan, after which they face Australia at home in a five-match T20 series starting in late February.
The 'Black Caps' then host Bangladesh in a limited-overs series comprising three one-day internationals and three T20s that ends on March 28.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)