Australia have been dealt a huge blow as fast bowler Mitchell Starc has been ruled out for the ongoing Test series against India due to a fractured foot.
The 27-year-old first suffered the problem during the second Test in Bengaluru and with the pain not subsiding, Starc was sent for scans on 10 March which revealed a stress fracture in his right foot.
"Mitchell experienced some pain in his right foot during the second Test in Bangalore which unfortunately had not subsided a few days after the Test as we had hoped," team physiotherapist David Beakley said as quoted by ESPN.
"We made the decision to scan his foot in Bangalore this morning and unfortunately it has revealed a stress fracture. Subsequently, this means Mitchell will be unavailable for the remainder of the tour of India and will return home to Australia to start his rehabilitation," he added.
Starc played a huge role in the visitors' 333-run victory over India in the first Test as he scored 61 runs in the first innings and dismissed India skipper Virat Kohli.
Starc also grabbed three wickets in the second Test and his injury comes at the worst possible time with the series being tied at 1-1.
His replacement is yet to be named by Australian selectors, but reports suggest that Tasmania's Jackson Bird – the backup fast bowler – is most likely to replace Starc for the third that takes place on 16 March at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.