The international playing future of experienced New Zealand midfielder, Bryce Collins is again in doubt after his late withdrawal from the Black Sticks Men’s team, which left for Malaysia.

Collins has been fighting his way back from a serious knee injury during the 2007 Oceania Cup in Australia. He wasn’t able to regain fitness for the highly successful Olympic Qualifying Tournament in February 2008 and as a result missed selection in the Beijing Olympic team.

His path back into the Black Sticks looked complete with his inclusion in the team that recently played India – however Collins’ knee problems resurfaced after the third test, making him miss the fourth and final test in Auckland. He has not been able to prove his fitness for this tour.

Collins’ spot in the touring team has been taken by 20 year old North Harbour defender, Joseph Bartholomew. Bartholomew’s selection will most likely result in Canterbury defender Nick Haig being pushed up into the midfield.

Source: NZ Hockey