Cricket: Blackcaps hope captain Kane Williamson can return for June's England tour

Blackcaps coach Gary Stead hopes to have captain Kane Williamson back for their three-test tour of England in June, but says they will need to manage his troublesome elbow injury.

Williamson, 31, missed the home series against Bangladesh and South Africa with a tendon injury in his left elbow that has plagued him over the last 18 months.

While Williamson has returned to action in the Indian Premier League, Stead said there was no need to rush his return to the Blackcaps.

"The catch-22 is Kane comes back early, scores a hundred and his elbow is gone again, and then we'd be in the same place," Stead said.

"Kane, like any of us, needs breaks at certain times. He's dying to play cricket for New Zealand again, I can absolutely assure you of that, but we can't burn him out in the future.

"We have to be smart around those things."

Kane Williamson and Gary Stead.
Kane Williamson and Gary Stead. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

Williamson, who reached out to India great Sachin Tendulkar and Australia's Steve Smith for advice on recovering from elbow injuries, has said he was so tired of dealing with the elbow, there were times he wanted to "cut it off".

In Williamson's absence, Tom Latham led the side against Bangladesh and South Africa, as well as the limited-overs home series against Netherlands.

"At the moment, Kane is just out of that role, because he hasn't been available for us," Stead said. "When Kane comes back, I expect him to be captain for us again."