Image courtesy of: The Telegraph
Starc is the third Australian pace bowler to fall victim to the injury
Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Starc is highly likely to miss the second leg of the Ashes series in November after being diagnosed with a lower back stress fracture.
Starc flew home during the limited overs series against England after complaining of back pains and underwent scans which confirmed the injury.
According to reports, Starc will definitely be ruled out for the start of the historic series, but may have a slim possibility of making his comeback towards the end of the series.
Starc is the third bowler to be diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back after his pace bowling team-mates, James Pattinson and Pat Cummins, both fell victim to the injury as well.
In the first leg of the Ashes series in England, Starc finished with 11 wickets at a respectable average of 32.45.
“Mitch Starc had scans following his arrival back to Australia and they have shown an early stage low back stress fracture,” Justin Paolini, Cricket Australia’s chief medical officer, said. “His management plan will be determined in the coming days but he is expected to be unavailable for a prolonged period.”
Cricket Australia’s manager of team performance Pat Howard was extremely disappointed to hear that Starc had succumbed to the injury, but added that it was a common injury for young, inexperienced pace bowlers.
“Historically, we’ve rarely seen three such promising young fast bowlers come through at the same time and all of a similar age so when they get injured of course that will be disappointing,” Howard said. “We’re doing our best to minimise longer term injuries, but we are also realistic that such injuries are possible.
“Looking at a comparison of some of Australia’s best quicks at the age of 23, Pattinson and Starc are second and third on the list behind Craig McDermott in terms of performance. What that tells us is we have a greater reliance on younger fast bowlers at international level than ever before and we’re getting the most we can out of these talented young players, who are all coming through into international cricket together.”
However, there was some good news for Australia as pace bowler Jackson Bird was cleared of any major injuries after complaining of back soreness during the recent Ashes series.
Bird, who played in the fourth Test at Durham, took two wickets and is expected to be fully fit and available for selection by the time England arrive.
“Jackson returned home from the tour of England with some lower back soreness,” Paolini said. “We have ruled out a major injury but will review scans in two weeks to confirm this. We expect that he will be available during the Ashes.”