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Fully fit Mitchell Starc ready for international return

Fully fit Mitchell Starc ready for international return
Mitchell Starc is set to make an international return in the tri-series in West Indies.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc has stated that he is fully fit and pain free as he nears an international return in the tri-series in the West Indies.

Starc, who underwent ankle surgery last year and has been on the sidelines for the last six months, has completed his rehabilitation and is happy with the way he has recovered.

"It’s been a long time coming," Starc said in Sydney before his departure for the West Indies.

"The foot has been great, there’s no pain in the ankle or the foot.

"I’ve been really happy with it; it’s come along really well.

"I’ve had a good three or four months in gym to get a bit of size back on, and I’m feeling really good; fit, strong and ready to play some cricket."

In the recent weeks, Starc has been training with a few members of the Australian side at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.

Australian opener Joe Burns, who faced Starc in Brisbane said that the left-arm seamer is very close to his absolute best.

Though Starc is confident with his preparation, he feels that it will be a few games before he can bowl at his top speeds.

"It’s been coming out pretty well up in Brisbane the last couple of weeks so I’m excited to see what comes about.

"It feels like it’s in a good place.

"I’m not sure if I’ll be back up to top speed straight away, it might take a couple of games as it normally does for fast bowlers coming back, but I’m excited to see how it comes out on the gun."

Starc’s ankle injury was a long standing concern, but the surgery was undertaken after he suffered an early stage stress fracture in his foot.

Describing the injury as a result of overuse, Starc said that he is ready to resume his international career which scaled greater heights in 2015.

"Having that ankle issue through the Ashes from the first Test probably played big part in why my foot broke.

"I had surgery to take bone out of the back of the ankle, clean it up, take a few spurs out.

"It was more of an over-use issue and rather than a technical issue, so I’m back to bowling what I’ve been doing the past few years and ready to pick up where I left off in November."

Starc was the leading bowler during the 2015 Cricket World Cup and his form was crucial for Australia, who went on to win a fifth title.

In 2015, Starc took 88 wickets across all formats, but more significantly, he played 30 matches in the year, which is the most number of games for an Australian bowler last year.

The 26-year-old is confident that the team management will manage his workload efficiently so that he will not be rushed back to full throttle so soon after his return from injury.

"I’m sure they’ll manage everyone with how the body is going.

"I just want to get through this first tour and play some cricket again after six months out.

"It’s seven games if we make the final and whether I play all seven or they talk to me about how it’s going, that sort of thing, we’ve got a goods squad of cricketers and some good fast bowlers."

Since becoming a regular feature of the Australian side in the year 2012, Starc has picked up 199 wickets from 87 matches across the three formats, making him his country’s premier bowler in the last four years.

© Cricket World 2016