<a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/new-zealand/">New Zealand</a> allrounder <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/mitchell-santner/">Mitchell Santner</a>, who has been out of action for over nine months owing to a <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/mitchell-santner-ruled-out-of-ipl-2018-new-zealand-england-tests-692477">bone defect</a> in his right knee, will make his return to competitive cricket on Saturday when his state team Northern Knights play Wellington Firebirds in the Super Smash opener. <p></p> <p></p>Earlier this month, Santner was cleared to start playing again. <p></p> <p></p>Recalling the pain he began to feel in his knee last summer, the 26-year-old said it he had "no concerns" about his surgically repaired knee. <p></p> <p></p><strong>ALSO READ:</strong> <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/fit-again-mitchell-santner-eyes-home-series-against-sri-lanka-for-comeback-772715">Fit-again Mitchell Santner eyes home series against Sri Lanka</a> <p></p> <p></p>"I remember one game, in Nelson, [the knee] swelled up a bit and another piece of bone fell off, that bone was floating around and it came out in quite an important spot, so they had to clean that up to try and repair the cartilage a bit," said Santner, who featured in 17 Tests, 53 ODIs and 27 T2oIs before he picked up the injury, to <em>stuff.co.nz</em>. <p></p> <p></p>Since undergoing surgery in March, Santner has only played club cricket and for Northern Districts A. <p></p> <p></p>New Zealand are currently locked in a Test series against Sri Lanka, with the final match starting on December 26. The teams will then engage in three ODIs and a T20I in January.