Starc feeling undercooked following freak leg injury
Mitchell Starc concedes he is not at his physical peak ahead of three Tests against South Africa as he continues his recovery from a freak leg injury.
Last month, Australia's left-arm seamer collided with a piece of training equipment and suffered a deep cut to his left shin.
Starc was taken to hospital where he required 30 stitches, and the injury has affected his preparation for the visit of the Proteas Down Under.
As a result, Starc admits he is behind where he would like to be ahead of the first Test, which gets under way at the WACA on Thursday.
"It [the cut] is still open, clean it every day, put a patch on it and away you go," Starc said.
"It's still a little bit opened, so it's probably going to take a couple of weeks [to heal]. It's not bleeding, it's healing nicely. It's all clean.
"I think when I started bowling and running again it just sort of stretched the skin a little bit. It's not a bad thing, it needed to stretch anyway. But it probably just delayed the healing a little bit.
"[Without the injury] I would have obviously played a couple of Matador [BBQs One-Day Cup] games and played the full [Sheffield] Shield game as well. So I'm probably a week or week and a half behind where I would have liked to be.
"Being in a brace for four weeks - I couldn't sweat on the wound, so I couldn't run or do all of the gym sessions I wanted to do. So I was a fair bit behind at the start and tried to catch up at the end.
"I'm still a little bit behind where I would have liked but it hasn't cost me any cricket for Australia so I'm ready to go."
Starc also dismissed suggestions from South Africa batting coach Neil McKenzie that the Proteas do not fear anyone in the Australian line-up.
"Easy for him to say that, sitting behind the desk," Starc said. "I'm happy for him to face me.
"He's entitled to his opinions. It's a lot easier making comments like that when you don't have to face anything. He just throws the whanger down at his batsmen and sits back and watches. Look, we'll all be trying to crank it up.
"I'll be trying to bowl as fast as I can and Josh [Hazlewood] can still hit over 140s, Joey [Mennie] bowls a heavier ball than you think and can hurry up a lot of batsmen. He probably bowls a lot quicker than people think.
"Sidds [Peter Siddle] is coming back into some pace as well. We've got plenty of firepower. Just because they've got Dale Steyn - I know he's an outstanding bowler, he's taken 400-plus Test wickets - [but] just because you've got him and [Kagiso] Rabada bowling fast it doesn't mean we don't have anyone to match that."