Australia`s pace spearhead Mitchell Starc on Wednesday virtually ruled out recovery from injury in time for the Twenty20 World Cup but said he could be back for the mid-year tri-series in the West Indies.
The star fast bowler recently had right ankle and foot surgery after breaking down during the day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last November.
Starc, 25, who spoke to reporters at the rain-hit Sydney Test against the West Indies with his right foot protected by a moon-boot, said he was uncertain about when he would return.
However, he all but ruled out playing in the T20 World Cup, starting in India on March 8.
"It`s very unlikely. Everything would have to go perfectly to be any chance. I won`t know until I can start doing some stuff on it," Starc said.
"I`ve played probably non-stop for two years and the silver lining is I get to give the body a bit of a break and rebuild that strength.
"Make sure everything is 100 percent before I go again."
Starc said he had more chance of playing in the T20 Indian Premier League in early April or in the one-day tri-series against South Africa and the West Indies in the Caribbean in June.
"I don`t know at this stage. It comes back to when I start bowling and how it reacts to the bowling. There`s no real timeframe," he said.
"That (the IPL) could be a possibility and there`s the West Indies tri-series after that as well. There`s cricket all throughout the year and I don`t want to rush it.
"I want to make sure it`s 100 percent before I go and play my first game."
Starc, who took over leadership of Australia`s pace attack following the retirement of Mitchell Johnson last November, said he was happy with the surgery.
"By all reports the surgery has gone really well and it`s more just waiting for the fracture to heal more," he said.
"The ankle`s going really well. The movement in it is really good at the moment.
"I had the three spurs shaved back and a whole heap of scar tissue out of the front and a big piece of bone pulled out of the back of the ankle.
"If the foot wasn`t broken I`d be doing a lot more than I am at the moment."
Starc said he expected to be running within five to six weeks.