Chennai Super Kings have received a big blow ahead of the upcoming 11th season of the Indian Premier League as New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner, who was expected to be a key player in CSK setup, has been ruled out of cricket for six to nine months with a knee injury.
The 2018 IPL season kicks off on April 7 with CSK taking on defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.
Santner experienced discomfort in his right knee in the recent short format series against England and Australia and a scan at the time showed a bone defect, the Black Caps said in a press release.
A further scan in recent days has shown that the defect had deteriorated further and will require surgery to be fixed. Santner will be operated on later this week, before beginning an extensive rehabilitation.
Apart from missing out on the IPL, Santner will also miss New Zealand's Test series against England, as well as his debut season at the English county for Derbyshire.
"On a personal level everyone feels for Mitchell. He's a popular guy in the changing room and he's well respected for the work he puts in for the side," NZ coach Mike Hesson was quoted as saying in the press release.
"Mitchell is a key player in all three formats for us, so we’ll certainly miss him in the upcoming series. It’s important though that he gets this fixed and we have him back for what is a big next 18 months for us."
Santner has 34 wickets in 17 Tests and averages 25.47 with the bat.