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Starc faces long injury layoff

Scans reveal low back stress fracture; Bird expected to be available for return Ashes in November

Starc faces long injury layoff - Cricket News
Mitchell Starc of Australia is out of action with a low back stress fracture.
Mitchell Starc, who flew back to Australia before the start of the One-Day International series against England, has an early stage low back stress fracture and is set for a long absence from the game, Cricket Australia said on Monday (September 9).
 
Starc flew home from England after reporting pain in his lower back and was initially withdrawn as a precautionary measure.“Mitch Starc had scans following his arrival back to Australia and they have shown an early stage low back stress fracture,” said Dr Justin Paoloni, the CA chief medical officer. “His management plan will be determined in the coming days but he is expected to be unavailable for a prolonged period.”

There was some good news for Australia’s pace stocks, however, in the form of Jackson Bird’s progress from injury. Bird, who also had a lower back injury, had left midway through the Ashes and is expected to be available for selection when England tour Australia for the return Ashes in November, but still needs review scans to completely rule out any major injury.

“Jackson returned home from England with some lower back soreness,” Dr Paoloni 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.”

Australia have dealt with several injury breakdowns amongst their crop of pacers, with all of James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Ryan Harris on the sidelines currently, along with Starc and Bird. Cummins, 20, and Pattinson, 23, are the youngest of the lot, along with Starc, who is also 23.

Pat Howard, the CA General Manager Team Performance, said younger fast bowlers were more susceptible to injury and CA was doing their best to minimise long-term injuries.
 
“While it’s a disappointing result for Mitch, we know he will bounce back,” said Howard. “Starc, James Pattinson and Pat Cummins are all under 24 years of age and we are certainly well aware that until fast bowlers get into their mid-20s, they are more susceptible to injury.

“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. We’re doing our best to minimise longer term injuries, but we are also realistic that such injuries are possible.

“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.”

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