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Mitchell Starc says he’ll play through the pain of a shoulder injury

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Mitchell Starc didn’t want to leave Australia “a man down” as he had in previous matches, vowing to play through the pain of an injured shoulder with the Ashes on the line at The Oval.

Having felt like he’s left the Australian team a bowler short in the past by not battling through niggling injuries, the veteran fast bowler saw the benefits of playing on in the fifth Test after feeling early pain, snaring 4-82 to rocket to the top of the series wicket-takers’ list.

Starc was forced to leave the field after his erratic opening spell on the first day in London to get his troublesome shoulder strapped before returning to seize crucial wickets, including England captain Ben Stokes.

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Mitchell Starc takes the wicket of Ben Stokes with a beauty. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Mitchell Starc takes the wicket of Ben Stokes with a beauty. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

He knows there’s an issue with his AC joint but said that could wait for treatment until after the fifth and final Test that Australia has a chance of winning after reaching 1-61 at stumps having bowled England out for 283

“I’m not interested in getting it scanned or anything like that. That (damage to the AC joint) is what the doc and physio think’s the case,” Starc said after play.

“We’ll worry about that at the end of the week. There’s a bit of discomfort there … nothing major. I can still bowl and do what I need to do.

“I’ve played for over 10 years and been through a few niggles and injuries through the time.

“There have been times when I’ve left the team a man down or other people have. We all push through niggles and whatnot, so it’s no different this week, just a little bit of discomfort.”

Starc conceded the rainy finish to the fourth Test at Manchester provided some much-needed respite for the fast bowlers at the end of a long, six-Test tour having also played in the World Test Championship final.

But he said the players had found a way to conserve their physical and mental energy to ensure they had the fuel for a big finish to potentially win the series, which would be a first in England since 2001.

“Guys have been finding a way to switch off, whether it be on the golf course, and some of the families are still here,” Starc said.

“We’re back in London and it was sunny, so a few people got out and about over the last couple of days to try and switch off where they could.

“But you‘re playing international cricket in an Ashes series in England, so there’s no reason not to get up for this week.”

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