Fleming undergoes surgery to remove tumor

Stephen Fleming has had a benign tumor removed from his jaw.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Stephen Fleming has had a benign tumor removed from his jaw and will miss the first two of three Chappell-Hadlee limited-overs internationals against Australia next month, New Zealand Cricket said on Friday. Fleming was named in a 14-man New Zealand squad for matches at Auckland on December 3, Wellington on December 7 and Christchurch on December 10, but his availability for the early matches was in doubt because of an "undisclosed medical problem''. New Zealand cricket team manager Lindsay Crocker revealed Fleming's condition Friday and said spinner Daniel Vettori would captain the New Zealand team while Fleming recovered from surgery. "Stephen last week had a potentially cancerous tumor removed from his jaw-line in front of his left ear, and on Thursday received the very good news that the tumor was benign,'' Crocker said. "The size of the tumor caused nerve damage which was repaired with further surgery on Wednesday.'' Crocker said Fleming was hoping to play for Wellington in a State Championship match against Canterbury beginning in Christchurch on December 5 and will be considered for the final ODI against Australia on December 10. "We are very pleased for Stephen who must have had a stressful time over the past week,'' he said. "Daniel Vettori will captain the Black Caps which will present him with a valuable opportunity to captain the team at home against the world champions." (AP)