Jacob Oram, the injury-prone New Zealand all-rounder, will be out of action for up to a month with a patella tendon tear. He will miss the rest of the home one-day international (ODI) series against Australia and could also be sidelined for much - if not all - of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts on March 12. Oram suffered his latest injury during the first ODI in Napier, in which he took one wicket but did not bat as New Zealand beat the tourists by two wickets.
"Jacob Oram suffered a partial tear of the patella tendon," said David Currie, the New Zealand team manager. "It is expected that Jacob will recover in three or four weeks. He will be out for the balance of the Australian series." Oram, who has been replaced in the Black Caps' squad by Michael Mason, the Central Districts medium-pacer, plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, and has a US$675,000 (Dh2.48m) contract.
The 31-year-old, a left-handed batsman and right-handed fast-medium bowler, has been plagued by injuries over the past 18 months. He had to return home midway through the 2008 tour of Bangladesh, missed a Test series against Australia because of a back injury, had a calf strain that kept him out of a home Test series against the West Indies and an Achilles injury that shortened his participation in the following one-day series against the same team and three-Test series against India.
He announced his retirement from Test cricket after that spate of injuries. New Zealand also have concerns over the captain, Daniel Vettori, who missed the opener against Australia with a stiff neck, but they remain hopeful he will be fit for game two in Auckland tomorrow. "He's feeling a bit more comfortable and he'll hopefully be fine tomorrow," said Currie. "He's not 100 per cent certain. The neck was a bit stiff. We're certainly hopeful and he's hopeful." * With agencies