Australia v South Africa Tests – Men
Teammate Nathan Lyon admitted after play on Boxing Day that an injury to the fast bowler's middle finger "doesn't look the greatest"
Louis Cameron at the MCG
26 December 2022, 07:13 PM AEST
Mitchell Starc was sent for an X-ray after play on Boxing Day after suffering a painful finger injury on day one of the Melbourne Test, the second unfortunate mid-game mishap to the paceman's bowling hand in six months.
There is a cloud over Starc's involvement in the rest of this Test after close friend and teammate Nathan Lyon admitted the injury to the fast bowler's middle finger "doesn't look the greatest".
The 32-year-old left the field during the opening day’s final session in the second NRMA Insurance Test against South Africa after hurting the digit while attempting a catch.
Despite how it appeared on television replays an Australian team spokesperson said Starc had not suffered a dislocation, but the full extent of the blow was unclear on Monday evening.
Lyon revealed Starc had gone out to the MCG nets to attempt to bowl after going off the ground, but found it difficult.
While the left-armer was back on the field not long after that with his finger heavily strapped, he soon came back off as Australia bowled the Proteas out before stumps for 189.
"Not ideal, I don't think," Lyon told cricket.com.au after play when asked about Starc's injury. "He's popped off for a scan now. Fingers crossed we can get the best possible result with his scan.
"I don't know what he's technically done, but it doesn't look the greatest.
"He went out the back and tried to bowl, but I think it (felt) a bit different to be honest.
"Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game…all we can hope for is he gets the best possible result with the scan – he's there as we speak."
Stationed at long-on, Starc had ran around to his left trying to reel in a lofted drive from Marco Jansen off Lyon’s bowling, diving full length but only getting the tip of his middle finger onto the ball.
Starc immediately signalled for medical attention and was swiftly escorted off the ground by physiotherapist Nick Jones.
It is the second finger injury suffered by the 32-year-old this year, having sliced the tip of his left index finger on a spike on his bowling shoe in an unusual accident during Australia's tour of Sri Lanka.
Starc was back bowling at full tilt not long after but was unable to play in subsequent games given he needed to tape his finger to protect the stitches holding the cut together.
International Cricket Council rules do not permit bowlers to wear tape on their hands for an injury they carried into the match commenced.
But given Starc suffered this latest injury during the Test, it is expected he would be permitted to bowl with tape on his finger if he wanted to.
Men's NRMA Insurance Test Series v South Africa
First Test: Australia won by six wickets
Dec 26-30: Second Test, MCG, 10.30am AEDT
Jan 4-8: Third Test, SCG, 10.30am AEDT
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner
South Africa squad: Dean Elgar (c), Temba Bavuma, Gerald Coetzee, Theunis de Bruyn, Sarel Eree, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Heinrich Klaasen, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, Khaya Zondo
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Starc sent for scans after latest finger mishap – cricket.com.au
Australia v South Africa Tests – Men