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Mitchell Starc likely to be back for New Zealand tour in February

Adelaide: Leading Australian paceman Mitchell Starc needs rest rather than surgery for his injured foot and may return for the February series in New Zealand, team bowling coach Craig McDermott said yesterday.

Australia's injured pacer Mitchell Starc in crutches at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic:AP/PTI
Australia's injured pacer Mitchell Starc in crutches at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic:AP/PTI

Starc limped from the field on Friday's opening day of the day-night Test against the Black Caps in Adelaide with scans later revealing he had stress fractures in his right foot. He came out to bat in Australia's first innings and hit an unbeaten 24, but was unable to run freely on his injured foot. "He (Starc) has obviously got a crack in his foot," McDermott told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "The good news for us is it's not going to be as long as we thought.

"He's in a (protective) boot for three weeks and we'll start working from there. "So hopefully we can get him up for the (return) New Zealand series and the World T20 where he's ranked number one in the world. "He'll be very important for us in both series so we'll look forward to getting him back."

Craig McDermott
Craig McDermott

McDermott said it was "only a rest period (for Starc) at the moment", but that it was a wait and see situation. The series in New Zealand begins in February, with the World T20 in India the following month.

McDermott said Starc, who has taken over as leader of the Australian pace attack following the retirement of Mitchell Johnson, had been bowling in pain for the past year. "For the last 12 months he's done a wonderful job. His bowling's improved every game and his stature as a bowler is growing in world cricket, now on the Test match side of it as well which is great to see," he said.

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