London: Australia are optimistic fast bowler Mitchell Starc will be fit to face England in the second Ashes Test at Lord`s starting on Thursday.
The left-arm paceman suffered a right ankle injury during the series opener in Cardiff and needed pain-killing injections to finish the game, which England won by 169 runs with more than a day to spare on Saturday to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.
With just four days until the second Test gets underway, concerns had been voiced as to whether Starc, who was Australia`s leading bowler at Cardiff`s Sophia Gardens with seven wickets in 40.1 overs, would have sufficient time in which to recover.
Australia do have experienced paceman Peter Siddle, who didn`t play in the first Test in a squad which lost fellow right-arm quick Ryan Harris on the eve of the Ashes wen the veteran bowler announced his retirement from all cricket because of a knee injury.
But team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris tried to allay fears over Starc`s fitness by telling reporters on Sunday: "We will monitor him over the next few days but the plan is for him to take part in some light training."
Kountouris added: "Mitchell experienced some pain in the back of his right ankle during the Test match which is common with fast-bowlers.
"He was in discomfort while bowling but since then has improved significantly.
"We are hopeful he will be available for selection for the second Test beginning on Thursday."