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BJ Watling sidelined for three weeks with knee injury

Cricket - New Zealand v South Africa - second cricket test match - Centurion Park, Centurion, South Africa - 30/8/2016. New Zealand's BJ Watling watches his shot. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko - RTX2NL9K

Wellington [New Zealand]:New Zealand Test wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has been sidelined for at least three weeks due to a sprained right knee.

The injury will also rule Watling out of the three-match Chappell-Hadlee ODI series against Australia beginning on January 30 at Eden Park, Auckland.

Confirming the news, New Zealand Cricket said that Watling’s injury has been monitored by the team’s medical staff for an extended period and that he now requires rest and rehabilitation in order to recover, ESPNcricinfo reported.

The 31-year-old will target a return in the Plunket Shield match between Northern Districts and Otago in Whangarei from February 25 in Whangarei.

He is also expected to be available for the home three-match Test series against South Africa beginning University Oval in Dunedin on March 8.

Watling has been New Zealand’s first-choice Test wicketkeeper, having featured in 49 Tests in contrast to only 32 limited-overs internationals.

He has notchd up a total of 2565 runs at an average of 38.28 in Tests besides 157 dismissals behind the stumps, the fourth-highest by a New Zealand wicketkeeper.(ANI)