Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc has lifted the lid on the freak training accident that could pose a serious threat to his summer campaign.
Starc collided with the base of a set of fixed metal stumps during a catching practice session on a windy day with the injury requiring more than thirty stitches.
Despite the gruesome nature of the injury Starc hopes to be fit in time to play a Sheffield Shield match ahead of the Test series against South Africa in November.
Starc explained the incident on the Unplayable Podcast: "Unfortunately it was a training accident that should have been avoided.
"Accidents happen. We were doing a fielding test as part of our Australian camp before the boys left for the South African tour.
"We were doing high catching out of a ball machine. It was quite a windy day so I’ve gone after this ball to try and catch it and it was getting away from me and (I) slid to catch it.
"The next part of the drill – which was meant to happen later down the track – was throwing down stumps, (which were) set up behind us.
"I unfortunately slid into the metal plate at the base of the stumps.
"I caught the catch so I’m happy about that, but in the process took some large chunks out of my leg and needed about 30-35 stitches."
Luckily for the quick his injury turned out to be not as serious as it might have been with no structural damage sustained.
Starc continued: "I knew I’d hit the metal plate because it was quite sore, so I thought I might have a bit of a cut there and it's only sore because the bone has hit the metal.
"I looked down and there’s a big hole in the pants, (I) saw a flap of skin and threw my hand on it to try and stop anything that was going on. I couldn’t see much.
"Then the pain started to get a lot stronger and kept hitting me and I thought something might be a bit worse.
"The doctors came over and I couldn’t watch from there.
"I didn’t quite know the extent until I was in the back of the ambulance when the doctor was explaining how bad it was.
"You (could) see a couple of bones. I didn’t want to look at it at all. They numbed it pretty quickly so I couldn’t feel too much."
The rapid left-armer is glad that the injury won't keep him sidelined too long, but conceded that he finds the recovery process frustrating.
On the nature of the injury Starc added: "The knee is fine, which is the biggest positive.
"I didn’t really think I did anything bad to my knee. It wasn’t until the doc started talking about what could have happened and what might be an issue (that I started to worry) and I had to have an x-ray.
"When they were cleaning up the wound the nurse actually said 'There’s your patella tendon, there’s no nicks in it'. The fact that he could see my patella tendon was a bit of an issue.
"I'm glad that’s all fine. It’s a weird feeling being in a knee brace not being able to bend my leg knowing that my knee is OK. It’s just to keep the flaps of skin on there to heal properly.
"It’s quite frustrating but I can still get around a little but, (I) get back in the gym today (Wednesday), finally get back into some work."
Starc is eager to be fit to play in the first Shield game for New South Wales: "That’s still my goal, to be right for that Shield game and obviously we’ve got to factor in some workloads when I’m back bowling first and foremost."