Star striker Chris Wood is returning to his English club Nottingham Forest for treatment on his thigh injury after a decision not to risk him in the All Whites’ second international against China.
Instead of flying with the national squad from Auckland to Wellington for Sunday’s match, the medical departments of Wood’s club and country agreed the best move was for him to head back to the United Kingdom.
Main photo: Chris Wood … ruled out of second international. Photo: Phototek.
New Zealand interim coach Darren Bazeley said:
“We’ve been monitoring Chris ever since he arrived but he didn’t travel with the team yesterday, he stayed in Auckland for some consultation.
“Between the two medical departments, we feel it’s in the best interests of Chris to return home, to get back to his club and to monitor and evaluate the injury by his own club.
“Chris is not a player you take risks with. He did come with the full intention of playing. You know Chris, he wants to play every game.
“We trained but it just wasn’t quite right so we’ve taken the advice and the best thing for Chris now is to get back and make sure he’s in a good place when he gets home.”
Games to be played on Sunday March 26, 2023
New Zealand U-22 v China PR
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 12.30pm (NZT)
All Whites v China PR
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 4pm (NZT)