The 26-year-old had to undergo surgery in March after a series of scans revealed a bone defect in his right knee. Santner was in pretty good form before the mishap happened, scoring 217 runs in five batting innings and scalping six wickets in nine limited-overs fixtures this year.
"He's been bowling and batting and progressing really well with his knee, so club cricket's the next step for him," New Zealand's high-performance manager, Bryan Stronach, said. "We'll assess to see how he's going after that, whether he carries on playing club cricket, or we progress towards the other stuff.
"One thing we try to do with these guys is not get too ahead of ourselves. If you set too many goals in stone and it doesn't work, then the disappointment is huge, whereas if you take each milestone as it comes, we can deal with that."
This news will serve as a huge boost for New Zealand considering how important he has been for them in the last couple of years.
The Black Caps are currently in UAE and then will return home to host Sri Lanka for two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and a T20 International. If all goes well, Santner can make a comeback against the Islanders next year.
"The Sri Lankan stuff could be on the table if all goes well, but I think for him it's let's get through club cricket and then we'll reassess from there," Stronach added.
Santner was set to play club cricket in Hamilton on Saturday before rain played spoilsport.
First Published: December 2, 2018, 10:16 PM IST