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Tim Southee will make his much-anticipated return to cricket tomorrow when he plays for Northern Districts at his home ground in Whangarei in the Plunket Shield match against Wellington.
Southee missed the tour of South Africa firstly for the birth of his first child and then a thumb injury and it's hoped he will come through unscathed and be fit to play the three tests against England starting in Dunedin on March 6.
He had an excellent last six months in international cricket before injuring his left thumb in a Plunket Shield match against Wellington at the Basin Reserve in December.
The 24-year-old needed surgery after he tore the ligaments in his thumb when he jammed it into the ground diving to field a ball. He spent two weeks in a cast and then time in a splint before some low-level bowling about five weeks after surgery.
He has been in and around the New Zealand cricket team in the past week as they monitor his progress but the biggest test will be how he goes in the Plunket Shield match.
Corey Anderson, who also missed New Zealand's tour of South Africa with a thumb injury, will also make his return tomorrow.
In other games starting tomorrow, Otago host Auckland in Dunedin and Canterbury take on Central Districts in Rangiora. Central Districts hold a 13-point lead over Otago with Northern Districts a further 20 points behind with two rounds remaining.
Northern Districts side to play Wellington at Cobham Oval, Whangarei, starting tomorrow: Brad Wilson (c), Corey Anderson, Graeme Aldridge, Brent Arnel, Daniel Flynn, James Marshall, Daryl Mitchell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Anurag Verma, Adam Wheater, Joseph Yovich.