Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes admits losing the services of all-rounder Mitchell Santner for the remainder of Worcestershire Rapids NatWest T20 Blast campaign is "a massive blow."

The New Zealander suffered a small fracture to a finger while fielding in the opening NatWest T20 Blast match of the season against Durham Jets at New Road last Friday.

But there has been a complication in the healing process which means he has required surgery on Friday to resolve the problem.

The length of the recovery period means Santner, who was scheduled to play in all of the North Group matches this summer, has played his last game for the Rapids and is to return to New Zealand.

Rhodes said: "To our campaign in the T20 Blast, it is a massive blow because he is a player who is such an exciting talent in all formats 0f the game – but particularly T20.

"To have him in the first game and then miss him is just a real blow to our club.

"Mitch is gutted himself. We were very optimistic he would come back from the injury but sadly he needed surgery.

"Maybe another time he would consider coming back to us and we would get some benefit out of him in another season."

Rhodes said it is too early to comment on what the club's plans will be to combat the loss of Santner.

He said: "We've had a busy time of it with playing Friday night and the preparation work, so we will look at it all again on Saturday."

Rhodes was proud of the Rapids ability to overcome the absence of Santner when defeating Birmingham Bears by five wickets at Edgbaston on Friday evening.

He said: "The good thing for us is that, in typical fashion, our youngsters have stood up and all pulled together and won without Mitch against two overseas players for Birmingham, an international captain in Ian Bell and other guys who have played for England.

"It was a real good performance and we have managed to do it without Mitch. Dolly's (Brett D'Oliveira's) match was brilliant and he thoroughly deserved man of the match."