New Zealand’s bowling spearhead, Trent Boult has been ruled out of the third and final Test against Australia in Sydney after fracturing a finger of his right hand while batting on the day three of the ongoing Test.

Boult was struck by a Mitchell Starc delivery in New Zealand’s first innings at the MCG, and by the tea break, the left-arm pacer rushed directly to the hospital for scans. The results revealed a fracture and the Blackcaps have confirmed the veteran will fly home and will need “around four weeks of rehabilitation.”

"Trent Boult suffered a fracture to the second-metacarpal of his right hand after being struck while batting on day three of the second Test against Australia in Melbourne," read a tweet from New Zealand Cricket.

"An X-ray during the tea break confirmed the undisplaced fracture which will require around four weeks of rehabilitation, meaning Boult will return home to New Zealand at the end of the Test. A replacement player will be confirmed in due course."

What surprised all, however, is the fact that he returned to bowl towards the end of the day and bowled as many as nine overs in Australia’s second innings. The news will come as a massive blow for New Zealand, but Boult’s returns haven’t been great, to say the least. The 30-year-old has only picked one wicket in the ongoing Test for 121 runs across two innings.

The pacer also missed the first Test in Perth due to a side strain he sustained during the first Test against England in November, but recovered in time for the Boxing Day affair.

With the injury, Boult became the second New Zealander to travel back home from the ongoing series after Lockie Ferguson injured himself during the first Test at Perth.

Having lost the first Test by a whopping 296 runs, the Kiwis are well on course of their second defeat of the series, as they trail Australia by 456 runs in Melbourne.

Read | Aiden Markram out of England series

Feature image courtesy: AFP / William West