Kane Williamson is in doubt for the third test against Bangladesh, after an MRI scan confirmed a grade-one tear to his left pectoral muscle.
The Blackcaps captain injured his shoulder, while fielding on Sunday and experienced pain while batting on Monday.
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Coach Gary Stead said Williamson would travel to Christchurch for further assessment before Saturday's final test.
"Kane is obviously keen to play this final game, but we will look to take a safety-first approach, particularly with the World Cup on the horizon," said Stead.
Stead confirmed Central Districts skipper Will Young was in line for a test debut if Williamson is ruled out.
"Will has been in our test squad as batting cover the past two series and he should be confident, following some strong performances domestically and for New Zealand A.
Wicketkeeper BJ Watling is also under an injury cloud, after sustaining a minor hamstring strain in warm-ups on Tuesday.
NZ Cricket said a decision on any replacement players from outside the 12-man squad would be confirmed after the latest round of the Plunket Shield.