Starc expected to be `unavailable` for `prolonged period` with back stress fracture

Johannesburg, Sept 10 (ANI): Australian bowler Mitchell Starc may reportedly be out of the team for a 'prolonged period' with a back stress fracture, giving a further blow to Australia's fast bowling stocks.

According to Sport24, Starc returned home earlier this month from Australia's one-day series in England with lower back soreness, and his injury was finally confirmed by Cricket Australia (CA).

Stating that Starc had scans following his arrival back to Australia, CA's chief medical officer Justin Paolini said that although Starc's management will be determined in the coming days, he is however, excepted to be unavailable for a prolonged period.

The report mentioned that the left-arm fast medium bowler endured a frustrating tour of England, playing in the first, third and fifth Tests of the five-match Ashes series while being dropped for the second and the fourth.

Meanwhile, CA issued a ray of hope for the team by expecting to have paceman Jackson Bird available during the return Ashes series starting in November as even though he too had returned to Australia with lower back soreness, Paolini ruled out a major injury.

However, Paolini said that they will scans in two weeks to confirm Bird's availability.

The report further said that Starc joins other Australian fast bowlers James Pattinson and Pat Cummins on the sidelines with back injuries.

Stating that Starc, Pattinson and Cummins are more susceptible to injury as they have still not entered their mid-20s according to recent studies, CA general manager (team performance) Pat Howard said that Pattinson and Starc are second and third on the list behind Craig McDermott in terms of performance.

According to Howard, that fact shows that they have a greater reliance on younger fast bowlers at international level than ever before, adding that CA is getting the most it can out of these talented young players, who are all coming through into international cricket together. (ANI)

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