Star paceman Mitchell Starc has suffered an untimely injury scare in the nets as Australia prepare to face Sri Lanka in a crunch Twenty20 World Cup match.
Starc was struck above the right knee while bowling in the UAE, when a ball was clattered back at him.
The left-armer donned a compression sleeve then batted and bowled the next day, which bodes well for his hopes of playing the clash with Sri Lanka at 10pm AWST on Thursday.
But team medicos are still monitoring the fast bowler, who was in obvious discomfort after the blow, and will be keen to see the state of his bruise closer to the start of play.
Should Starc be restricted in any way, coach Justin Langer would likely take a risk-averse approach, especially at this stage of the tournament.
There is a short turnaround between Australia’s next two games, with a match against England awaiting on Sunday.
Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, Australia’s top-ranked T20 bowler and a surprising omission from the tournament-opening win, and paceman Kane Richardson loom as likely replacements should Starc be ruled out.
Test quicks Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood played together in last week’s victory over South Africa, marking the first time they have played a T20 together for Australia.