Mitchell Starc is in serious doubt for next week’s second Ashes Test at Lord’s as he battles a recurrence of bone spurs in his right ankle.
The 25-year-old, who has been the pick of the Australian quicks with match figures of 7-164 in the first Test in Cardiff, has struggled since day one of the series and was in obvious discomfort when bowling in England’s second innings on Friday despite sending down 16 overs.
Cricket Australia have refused to confirm the extent of Starc’s problem but it’s widely believed the left-arm paceman is experiencing the same issue that required surgery in March 2013.
Should Starc be sidelined for the Lord’s Test, which begins on July 16, it would be a further blow to Australia’s bowling stocks, already depleted due to the retirement of Ryan Harris last week after a knee injury.
Peter Siddle would almost certainly be the man to replace him ahead of Pat Cummins who has been drafted into the squad but hasn’t played a first class match for two years.
Bone spurs are pointy outgrowths that develop in areas of inflammation or injury. They commonly occur on the heel and spine.
They can lead to foot pain, tenderness and sometimes swelling, and cause difficulty walking.
With rest and recuperation, Starc could be passed fit for the third Test at Edgbaston on July 29.