Southee set to remain on sidelines


New Zealand are hopeful Tim Southee will regain full fitness in time for next month's one-day internationals against Australia, after the paceman's return from a foot injury was delayed.

Southee was initially ruled out of the Twenty20 series with Sri Lanka, which New Zealand clinched on Sunday, after hurting his left foot in the preceding ODI rubber.

The 27-year-old's injury was not thought to be serious, but he is now set to remain on the sidelines as the Black Caps host Pakistan in three Twenty20s and a trio of ODIs later this month.

"I think it might be ... a little bit [worse than first feared]," New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan is quoted as telling Newstalk ZB.

"It's something that will take a wee while to get right.

"I'm not exactly sure of the time frame - whether it's two to three weeks - as to where he is at.

"The plan in place, fingers crossed, is that hopefully he'll be back for the end of the season."

New Zealand's first 50-over match against Australia takes place on February 3 in Auckland.

"It's not that far away, but the plan is to have him back firing for the Australia series," McMillan added.