I honestly don't know when I will return to action, says injured Mitchell Starc

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Adelaide, Nov 30: Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Starc said today it could be up to four weeks before he knows when he can bowl again after another injury setback in the Adelaide day-night Test.

Starc bowled only nine overs in New Zealand's first innings before he heard a crack in his right foot and left the field for treatment. Scans revealed a stress fracture and he is wearing a protective boot so the foot can heal.

Mitchell Starc uses crutches following their day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide on Sunday

The country's premier fast bowler following the recent retirement of Mitchell Johnson said he was unsure when he would be back.

"It's about recovery now and healing and getting back on the horse and I guess working back on my bowling and hopefully being back sooner rather later," he said before returning home after Australia's three-wicket win over the Kiwis on Sunday. "I honestly don't know," he added when asked when he would be back.

"Once I get home I can talk to the medical staff a bit more and map it out and see what it looks like, but at the moment it's trying to let the bone heal for now.

"I'll be in this (protective) boot for another three to four weeks depending on how it's going and then reassess it. There's no point putting a time on it yet until the bone heals."

But he added that the foot injury "is not something that will rule me out of the entire summer season". Starc has been managing a troublesome right ankle since the Ashes series in England this year, and said that it was not causing him great bother against New Zealand.

"Obviously, my ankle has been a bit of an issue in the last six to nine months and it's actually been going OK, so it's frustrating that the foot injury has come up and I felt it crack that last ball," Starc said.

"It is something we've been managing for a while and I had a couple more cortisone (injections) after the Perth Test so it's actually something that has been managed quite well."

Left-armer Starc, 25, is Australia's leading strike bowler and has taken 91 wickets in 25 Tests at 30.58. He also bowled the fastest-recorded Test delivery of 160.4 kilometres per hour (99.7 mph) during the drawn second Perth Test.

AFP

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