In the CWC23 fitness race, New Zealand quickly decides on surgery.

Tim Southee’s availability for the Cricket World Cup 2023 will be decided next week after the fast bowler chose to have surgery for a dislocated and fractured thumb suffered during New Zealand’s tour of England.

New Zealand Cricket revealed the news on Wednesday afternoon, following Southee’s injury in the final ODI at Lord’s on Saturday, and the 34-year-old’s selection will likely be selected by physicians after analyzing the procedure’s success.

With the squad dealing with a number of injuries, coach Gary Stead is optimistic that Southee can heal in time.

“We’re crossing our fingers that Tim’s surgery goes well,” Stead began.

“He’ll have some pins or screws inserted in his right thumb, and assuming the procedure goes well, it’ll be a matter of making sure Tim can tolerate the pain and manage the actual wound when he returns to train and play.”

New Zealand’s Cricket World Cup campaign kicks off on October 5 in Ahmedabad, with Stead describing the date as a “logical target” for Southee to meet.

“Tim is clearly a very experienced and important member of our team.”

“We want to give him every chance to be a part of this World Cup campaign.”

New Zealand is dealing with a number of concerns ahead of the Cricket World Cup 2023, with Daryl Mitchell scaring the camp when he walked off the field in the same match as Southee, albeit with a minor finger injury that should have little influence on the all-rounder.

Kane Williamson’s fitness will also be considered by the Black Caps, who have recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. The ODI captain is part of New Zealand’s Cricket World Cup roster, but has yet to play competitively since suffering the injury.

New Zealand is currently in Bangladesh for a three-match One-Day International series, which begins on Thursday in Mirpur and will be followed by warm-up matches against Pakistan in Hyderabad on September 29 and South Africa in Trivandrum on October 2.