Australian bowling spearhead Mitchell Starc says he is focused on being ready for the first Test against South Africa after declaring himself available for selection following a grisly training accident.
The 26-year-old suffered deep cuts after colliding with training equipment at a Sydney ground last month, needing nearly three dozen stitches to his left leg.
The left-arm pace sustained two gashes just below his knee and was rushed to hospital where he had surgery.
But after five weeks of recuperation, including wearing a leg brace, he announced Thursday he was available for New South Wales’ first Sheffield Shield match of the season against Queensland, starting Tuesday.
“I’m available for (state) selection,” he told reporters in Sydney. “I’ll hopefully be on that plane on Monday to Brisbane and get some good bowling in and be back playing and ready to go for that first Test.”
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The first Test against the Proteas is in Perth from November 3, with further Tests in Hobart and Adelaide. Starc has been sorely missed by Australia, who were whitewashed 5-0 in South Africa in a one-day series that ended earlier this month.
Starc was Australia’s leading bowler on their tour of Sri Lanka prior to the South Africa hammering, taking 24 wickets at 15.16 in the 3-0 Test series defeat. He said he had been back up and bowling for around two weeks.
“Since then it’s been fine,” he said of his leg. “I’ve been bowling off the long run at a net session with the NSW boys (on Tuesday) and will bowl at them again today and probably have another session before going over to Brisbane on Monday.”