Black Caps take cautious line with Milne

Express paceman kept in cotton wool after being omitted from New Zealand's tour of Australia

Black Caps fast bowler Adam Milne is being handled with caution to ensure his longevity in international cricket.

Milne, who possesses express pace, made a strong return to the Twenty20 and one-day arena on New Zealand's tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa in August after a long spell out with injury.

But he has been left out of the Test squad to face Australia in November, and the New Zealand A one-day and four-day squads for matches against Sri Lanka in October.

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Black Caps coach Mike Hesson says medical staff are taking a methodical approach with Milne's comeback.

He says the 23-year-old is progressing well, but even during the tour of Africa was still unable to bowl two days in a row, which ruled him out of Test contention.

"We're hoping to give him some first-class cricket early to build him up to that," he said.

The same rationale applied to Milne's absence from the NZ A squads.

"He's a commodity that we want to take care of," Hesson said of a player who has pushed the speed gun over 150kph.

"We want to make sure we get a long period of time out of him rather than rush him back and break him again."

Milne, who has yet to make his Test debut, suffered a heel injury during the latter stages of this year's World Cup.

The problem kept him out of the Indian Premier League and the Black Caps' tour of England.