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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Mitchell Starc an injury doubt for Australia for fourth Ashes Test

Bruised heel means the leading wicket-taker in the series could miss the action in Melbourne as hosts target piling more misery on England.

Mitchell Starc has been a key part to Australia winning the first three Tests of the Ashes series, but he might miss the fourth Test with a bruised heel. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images
Mitchell Starc has been a key part to Australia winning the first three Tests of the Ashes series, but he might miss the fourth Test with a bruised heel. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Mitchell Starc remains a doubt for the fourth Test despite scans which have confirmed only bruising to his heel.

Australia announced on the final day of their series-sealing innings victory over England in Perth that the left-armer had an injury niggle.

Subsequent scans have detected only bruising, and Cricket Australia released a brief statement on Wednesday morning announcing Starc will travel with the squad to Melbourne.

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It read: "Starc had a scan in Sydney, which confirmed bruising on his heel.

"He will still travel to Melbourne with the squad as planned and will be reassessed before the Test."

Australia's pace spearhead is the series' top wicket-taker, with 19 at an average of just 21.05, as the hosts regained the Ashes by opening up an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-game series.

Australia have already taken the precaution of retaining spare seamer Jackson Bird in their 13-man squad, rather than releasing him to play for Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League.