Australia news December 10, 2015

Starc to have ankle surgery

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Mitchell Starc is almost certainly out of the World Twenty20 in India after deciding to undergo surgery for his long-term ankle problems while also recovering from a foot fracture he suffered during the Adelaide Test.

The decision was a difficult one for Starc, who spent several days mulling over the prospect of returning from the foot ailment and continuing to manage his problematic right ankle, which has been afflicted by bone spurs at regular intervals over his career thus far.

But his conclusion that it was best to get both issues out of the way at once is a significant blow to Australia's chances of lifting the only ICC trophy to have eluded them since the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2007.

"Mitchell met with specialists late last week to get an opinion on his recent foot injury and ongoing right ankle impingement," the team physio David Beakley said.

"After discussions with specialists, and in consultation with Mitchell, we believe the best course of action would be for Mitchell to have the surgery for his ankle impingement now while he is currently laid off with the stress fracture in his foot.

"His return to play timeframes will be clearer once the surgery is complete but it is unlikely that he will be available for the ICC World T20."

Starc battled the bone spurs issue three summers ago, notably missing the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka in December 2012 before pushing through to the tour of India.

He then had surgery on the problem ahead of the 2013 Champions Trophy and Ashes. However sharp pain returned during the Cardiff Test of this year's Ashes tour, and while Starc was able to struggle through, the prospect of surgery was always in the back of his mind.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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