Pakistan v Australia Test - Men's
Starc rates his chances for UAE
Left-armer on track but status of fellow quicks, Cummins and Hazlewood, remains clouded
5 August 2018, 09:38 PM AEST
Injured Test spearhead Mitchell Starc rates his chances of playing in October's two-Test series against Pakistan "very highly" but the availability of sidelined quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins is still uncertain.
Starc, who will spend tonight sleeping under the stars in the middle of the SCG to raise funds and awareness for youth homelessness as part of The Chappell Foundation's Sports Stars Sleepout initiative, says he's on track for a return to Test cricket in the UAE.
"I'm definitely available for selection, as long as it all goes well over the next few weeks," Starc told cricket.com.au.
"There's not many opportunities to play very much competitive cricket before that tour.
"I'm aiming to play some practice games for NSW when they're up in Brisbane if that plan goes ahead.
"The (comeback) plan will keep changing and developing with how my progress is.
"At the moment I'd like to think I'm very much available for selection for that UAE tour."
When asked to rate his chances of going to the UAE, Starc said: "Very highly".
Starc was ruled out of the fourth Test against South Africa in April and the 2018 Indian Premier League season with a tibial bone stress reaction in his right leg.
But with four months of rest, rehab and time in the gym under his belt, the 28-year-old is nearing a return to full fitness.
"The body feels good, I've been bowling for three weeks," he said.
"Once I've had a nice night's sleep here at the SCG I'm going to trek out to Blacktown tomorrow and do some more bowling.
"I think the plan is to bowl off my full run at about 85 per cent intensity.
"It's been a quick progression but a bit of a different rehab in terms of (the injury having been) my tibia and not my foot or my ankle this time.
"The plans were a little bit different. The three fast bowlers who are in the rehab group are up in Brisbane this coming week around the Australia A team and we've got some biomechanics testing as well."
While Starc appears set for a ticket to the Emirates to face Pakistan, the short-term futures of the other two members of Australia's fearsome Ashes pace trio is unknown.
On the eve of Australia's Qantas tour of England Hazlewood was ruled out with back soreness, while Cummins suffered a bone oedema in his vertebrae that ruled him out of the IPL.
While all three quicks have been running, only Starc has rolled the arm over, and he's uncertain of his teammates' comeback timeline.
"They haven't started bowling with me yet," he said. "I think maybe both of them could be starting up in Brisbane this week.
"Hopefully the three of us are back on deck and available for the UAE.
"I think I'm a little bit ahead of the other two with my rehab at the moment."