India's senior-most pacer Ishant Sharma hurt his ankle badly while bowling during a Ranji Trophy game in New Delhi on Monday, raising doubts over his availability for the upcoming Tests in New Zealand.
Spearheading the Delhi attack, the 31-year-old suffered the injury in the fifth over of Vidarbha's second innings and his third.
"Ishant has twisted his ankle and has swelling. It's looking pretty bad at the moment. We will not risk him again in this match. Let's hope it's not a fracture," a senior Delhi team management member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"If it's pure swelling, he will be fit in some days. He needs to go to NCA, obviously, and get his rehab done along with RTP (Return To Play) certificate. We are awaiting his MRI report which we expect by this evening," he added.
It was a fuller delivery that rapped rival skipper Faiz Fazal on the pads, prompting an optimistic Ishant to vociferously appeal on the follow through before slipping.
Ishant looked in pain as he hobbled off the ground with the help of support staff. His condition needed immediate medical attention.
The pacer had taken three wickets for 45 runs in Vidarbha's first innings.
The veteran of 96 Tests is expected to be in the Test squad for the New Zealand tour and this is his last Ranji game of the season.
If the injury is serious, Ishant will be sent to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation, forcing him to miss out on his next outing, a practice match in Hamilton.
India are scheduled to play two Tests in New Zealand, from February 21-25 and February 29 to March 4.