Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc, still wearing a moon boot, says he is 'unlikely' to feature at the World Twenty20 in March, as he won't recover from ankle surgery in time.
Starc was originally reluctant to have the surgery before the ICC event, but was advised to do so by doctors late last year. As a result, his recovery was always a question, and he's admitted it's probably a step too far.
Starc, who was the leading wicket-taker at the World Cup last year, said: "I don't want to rush it.
"I want to make sure it's 100 per cent because I've rushed back before and been dropped after a game. So I'll make sure it's 100 per cent before I play my first game.
"I've played non-stop for nearly two years, so the silver lining is that I get to give the body a bit of a break and get back and rebuild that strength and make sure everything is 100 per cent before I go again.
"It's disappointing I've missed half the summer and the likelihood of a (T20) World Cup but the silver lining is that I've got everything right and I don't have to play through that ankle injury any more.
"I don't think you can ever say you've cemented a spot 100 per cent, so I assume I'm going to have to work my butt off when I'm back to bowling to try and get my spot back (in the Australia Test and limited-overs teams).
"But I'd like to think in the last 12 months I've come a long way in all forms of cricket."
As for how the operation went, Starc added: "From all reports the surgery has gone really well.
"It's just waiting for the fracture in the foot to heal more than anything now.
"The ankle is going really well and movement in it is really good at the moment.
"Hopefully I can get this (orthopaedic) boot off in the next couple of days and start doing more than just sitting on the couch."