Cricket: Blackcaps batter Henry Nicholls playing the long game in recovery from calf strain before England test series

Blackcaps batter Henry Nicholls isn't rushing his return from a calf injury in preparation for New Zealand's tour of England.

Nicholls, 30, has been battling a calf strain in the lead-up to New Zealand's three-test series against England on June 2, but was cleared of any serious injury before the Blackcaps departed to the UK.

Now on the mend, Nicholls concedes he'll miss the Blackcaps' first warm-up game against County side Sussex, beginning on Friday (NZ time) as he continues his recovery.

Henry Nicholls celebrates his test century against South Africa.
Henry Nicholls celebrates his test century against South Africa. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

And while he's able to bat without any real setbacks, Nicholls detailed his current prognosis. 

"It's probably not so much the batting side of things, but the running and the acceleration side of things," Nicholls said. 

"Coming back from a calf injury, the high end of it is the toughest part. At this stage, it's probably quite unlikely I'll be part of it, unfortunately."

Instead, Nicholls is hopeful of returning to full fitness for the second warm-up game, against an English County XI, played at Essex's Chelmsford ground starting next Thursday.

"It's probably a bit of an ever-evolving one," Nicholls continued. "We'll keep assessing it as we go along.

"I'm hoping to come back as quick as I can, but also knowing these things can be tricky at times if you're looking to come back too early.

"[It's] a bit of a frustrating one for me, but [I'm] certainly getting stuck into the rehab, and taking it day to day at the moment."

But with the Blackcaps' tour of the UK consisting of more than just the test series against England, Nicholls is content in being patient to ensure his involvement further down the track.

After the third test against England in Leeds, the Blackcaps travel to Ireland for three One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals, Scotland for two T20s and one ODI, and two T20s against the Netherlands.

"You want to come back as quick as you can, but also knowing it's a long tour, it's a big tour.

"It would be nice to come back not just for one game, but actually be back fully on the park and playing.

"It's something we need to keep assessing."

The Blackcaps' test series against England begins at Lord's on June 2.