ADELAIDE, Australia, CMC – Australia may have to do without a key member of their seam attack for their three-Test series against West Indies starting next month after left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc limped out of the historic first day/night Test against New Zealand with a stress fracture of his right foot.
The 25-year-old had picked up three for 24 but was limited to just nine overs as New Zealand were dismissed for 202 on the opening day of the third Test at Adelaide Oval.
He pulled in up after his final delivery and left the field shortly afterward. Scans revealed an early stage stress fracture in the third metatarsal on his right foot and Cricket Australia said Starc would not bowl again in the Test and bat only if necessary.
Starc was seen leaving the ground on crutches following the close of play.
Australian fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath held out little hope for Starc being fit enough to face West Indies.
“When you’ve got a guy bowling that pace, (as) an attacking bowler, he picked up three wickets again today for not many runs, it’s a huge loss for Australia, especially considering Mitchell Johnson retired last week,” McGrath said.
“So fingers crossed it’s not too bad, but he’s going to be out for a while.”
Starc has emerged as a key member of the Aussies attack in recent times, and has taken 88 wickets in 24 Tests at an average of 31.
He took ten wickets in two Tests against West Indies in the Caribbean earlier this year.
If Starc is ruled out, fast bowler James Pattinson will be the likely replacement.
West Indies arrived in Brisbane earlier this week to begin preparation for the series, which bowls off in Hobart on December 10.