Sydney - Australian pace bowler Mitchell Starc will have surgery later this week on an ankle injury as he races the clock to be fit for the Ashes series against England, Cricket Australia said on Tuesday.
The left-armer will return from the team's tour of India early, missing the fourth Test, for the operation.
Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said Starc, who has taken 30 wickets in his nine-Test career, would have bone spurs on his right ankle removed.
"Mitch will have surgery later this week and we'll assess his recovery as he returns to bowling," he said in a statement.
Coach Mickey Arthur said they wanted to get the surgery done as soon as possible to ensure he was ready for the Ashes series beginning in July.
"We were aware that Mitch would need surgery at some point in the future to have the spurs removed," he said.
"He could have continued playing but we want to take a proactive approach in managing Mitch to have him fit for the Ashes series in England."
India currently lead the four-Test series against Australia, 3-0.