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Boult blow for New Zealand

New Zealand seamer Trent Boult will miss the NatWest Series against England and subsequent Champions Trophy due to a torn side muscle.

Boult suffered the injury during the Headingley Investec Test last weekend and will be replaced for the three one-day internationals against England by Ian Butler. 

Boult, pictured, had an MRI yesterday which confirmed the tear, with Black Caps physiotherapist Paul Close expecting the left-armer to make a full recovery in around six to eight weeks. 

His absence from the Champions Trophy will first have to be ratified by the International Cricket Council's technical committee, as will Butler's place in the squad as a replacement player.

New Zealand have, however, been boosted by the return of former skipper Daniel Vettori following a long-term absence.

The left-arm spinner has not featured in international cricket since the World Twenty20 last September due to an Achilles injury, but is expected to play at Lord’s tomorrow.

There have been occasions when Vettori wondered if injury would permanently cut short his career.

“You contemplate it. But I hope I'm still youngish, and can get a few more years out," the 34-year-old said.

"It's more when you're on the constant grind of playing, day after day in all three formats and going away to Twenty20 tournaments, that it becomes a bit harder.

When you're away from the game, it probably rejuvenates your love of it - and you actually want to get back into it.

"When you're away from it you do realise how much you appreciate the game and love being involved in international cricket."

Vettori's only game time this summer was against a Northamptonshire Select XI.

He bagged five wickets and 150 runs - but citing "batting, bowling, running and fielding" as the activities most likely to aggravate his Achilles, his ability to stay fit is still unchartered territory.

"Confident is probably not the right word," he added. "It's about finding out how much I can actually do. With the lack of game time, that's the hardest thing (to know).

"I got through a lot of training in India, and then a club game recently. But it's not the same - I'd love to have a bit more of a build-up, but it is what it is."

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