Starc hoping to return in October

"The knee is fine, which is the biggest positive"

“The knee is fine, which is the biggest positive”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Australia left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc is aiming to make his comeback in October as he nears full fitness from a leg injury.

Starc suffered the injury when he collided with training equipment while taking part in catching drills with the Australian team in Sydney. The 26-year-old sustained a deep laceration on his left leg, which was so bad that he “could see a couple of bones”. As a result, he underwent surgery and needed approximately 30 stitches to seal the wound.

“The knee is fine, which is the biggest positive,” Starc told the Cricket Australia website. “I didn’t really think I did anything bad. It wasn’t until the doc started talking about what could have happened and what might be an issue [that I started to worry] and I had to have an x-ray.

“When they were cleaning up the wound the nurse actually said ‘There’s your patella tendon, there’s no nicks in it’. The fact that he could see my patella tendon was a bit of an issue.”

Irregardless of the injury, Starc had been rested for the upcoming ODI series against South Africa, but he was preparing for Australia’s summer at home when he suffered the injury. \

“We were doing a fielding test as part of our Australian camp before the boys left for the South African tour,” Starc said. “We were doing high catching out of a ball machine. It was quite a windy day so I’ve gone after this ball to try and catch it and it was getting away from me and [I] slid to catch it.

“The next part of the drill – which was meant to happen later down the track – was throwing down stumps, [which were] set up behind us. I unfortunately slid into the metal plate at the base of the stumps.

“I caught the catch so I’m happy about that, but in the process took some large chunks out of my leg. I looked down and there was a big hole in the pants, [I] saw a flap of skin and threw my hand on it to try and stop anything that was going on. I couldn’t see much. Then the pain started to get a lot stronger and kept hitting me and I thought something might be a bit worse. The doctors came over and I couldn’t watch from there.

“I didn’t quite know the extent until I was in the back of the ambulance when the doctor was explaining how bad it was. You [could] see a couple of bones. I didn’t want to look at it at all. They numbed it pretty quickly so I couldn’t feel too much.”

Starc spent four days at St George’s Hospital before he returned home to begin his road to recovery. With everything having gone to plan thus far, Starc admitted that he is well on his way to being healthy.

“It’s a weird feeling being in a knee brace not being able to bend my leg knowing that my knee is okay,” he said. “It’s just to keep the flaps of skin on there to heal properly.”

Starc is hoping that he will be fit enough to feature in New South Wales’ first Sheffield Shield game of the season against Queensland on October 25 as it will be played under lights.

Should he not be able to do that, the left-arm pace bowler will look to return when the Test series against South Africa begins on November 3 in Perth.

“I want to play that one, and being a pink ball game at the Gabba it’s going to be new for the NSW team and for me as well,” he said. “That’s still my goal, to be right for that Shield game and obviously we’ve got to factor in some workloads when I’m back bowling first and foremost.

“If that’s out of the picture the next one is being right for the preparation for the first Test [against South Africa on November 3] and making sure I don’t miss any games for Australia.”

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