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Ryan Duffy broke a bone in his hand during an inter-squad match at Logan Park on Thursday.
The 25-year-old right-hander was in contention for an opening spot in the Otago team but picked up the injury while trying to make a catch shortly after the lunch break.
"He had to dive forward and I think he jammed one of his fingers on the ground and has broken [a bone]," Otago assistant coach Anton Roux said.
With regular opener Hamish Rutherford out until mid-March with a back complaint, Duffy and fellow Gregor Croudis were in a battle to join captain Brad Wilson at the top of the order. But with Duffy out, that spot will likely go to Croudis.
It is a blow for Duffy. He posted his maiden first-class hundred last season and has scored 905 runs at 30.16 in 18 first-class games for the province. He also has a wedding coming up in April and getting the ring fitted could be an issue given his left hand is in a cast.
However, his younger brother, Jacob, is making his way back. The pace bowler was sent back to the nets to remodel his action before Christmas and only re-emerged on Thursday for the inter-squad match.
He picked up two wickets before lunch yesterday and finished with three for 57 from 17 overs. He grabbed another wicket later in the day when the Michael Bracewell XI batted again.
"He is looking good. It is his first game back but he’s definitely improved from the last time he was on the park."
The inter-squad match was shifted from Logan Park to the University Oval because the ground was booked for another event. The Brad Wilson XI posted 313 for eight declared on Thursday and in reply the Michael Bracewell XI reached 233. Taine Bayly made 50.
The Michael Bracewell XI batted again and posted 121 for one. Croudis made a timely 57 not out and Bracewell was undefeated on 44.