Fit-again Starc ready to let rip at Kiwis
Update: Mitchell Starc still has no idea when he tore his left pectoral muscle but the left-arm quick is over the injury and will return for Australia on Wednesday.
Starc missed three months of cricket but bowled off a long run-up for the first time last Friday and told coach Justin Langer he wants match practice before the Aussies jet to Gallipoli on Friday night.
Australia plays an understrength New Zealand at Allan Border Field today and again on Friday and Starc will spear the attack in both matches, where teams can field 12 players.
Nathan Lyon and Glenn Maxwell likely to be rotated in after they missed Steve Smith and David Warner's return on Monday.
Starc - the player of the 2015 World Cup with 22 wickets at just 10.2 runs - hurt himself while storming back to form against Sri Lanka in the Canberra Test match.
Starc took his 10th wicket with the final delivery of the match and didn't realise anything was wrong until waking up in pain the next day.
He then spent four hours driving from Canberra to Sydney with an icepack strapped to his chest for a scan, which confirmed a tear.
"I was a little bit stiff all over, but that was the sixth Test match of the summer," Starc told News Corp on Tuesday.
"I woke up the next morning and my left pec was rather swollen and puffy and so I said to (wife) Alyssa, 'Something's not right here'.
"The fact I looked like Thor on one side of my chest and like (NSW teammate) Trent Copeland on the other painted the picture.
"I still don't know how it happened, or when it happened. I bowled the last ball of the game and didn't feel like anything was wrong.
"It's been a long four months in rehab, but I'm used to it these days."
Starc revealed he, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins dined with former Australian bowling coach David Saker a few nights ago.
Saker's relationship with Langer broke down during the summer with Adam Griffith appointed bowling coach for the World Cup and Troy Cooley for the Ashes.
"He (Saker) was fantastic for the bowling group for the time he was involved," Starc said.
Starc took 22 wickets at just 10.2 runs in the 2015 World Cup and the return of the new-ball star shapes as a big boost to Australia's trophy defence.
Australia has won five out of seven ODIs when Starc and Cummins have combined without Hazlewood since the 2015 final.
Starc initially targeted a return against Pakistan in the recent ODI series but was told to focus on the World Cup after suffering a setback.
"It's not a common cricket injury," he said.
"I've been bowling in Sydney with Josh, Pat, Sean Abbott and a few others.
"But I haven't had the space to come off a long run, because we're not allowed on the SCG, so (last Friday) was the first (bowl) off the full run up and it felt really good.
"The first couple were a little bit stuttery, but from then on felt really good. I'm looking forward to hopefully having a little trundle in one of these last two practice games."
Starc zinged one into Shaun Marsh's elbow in the nets on Sunday and also let plenty go at Smith.
"We've always had entertaining net sessions, whether it be bumper-thons or whatever, it's always a great contest," Starc said.
"He loves the challenge of facing the quicks. We love bowling to world-class players like he and Dave and the rest of the boys."
Starc and Hazlewood (back) have spent the past few months in rehabilitation together.
"They were long weeks in the gym, long gym sessions and long running sessions but it all seems to be going very, very well," he said.
"It would be great if (the World Cup) started next week."