Sydney - Injured fast bowler Mitchell Starc worked out in
the nets but captain Steve Smith didn't train on Tuesday because of a sore back
as Australia prepared for the fifth Ashes Test against England.
Starc missed the drawn fourth test at the Melbourne Cricket
Ground because of a bruised right heel but is hoping to return for the Sydney
Cricket Ground finale beginning on Thursday.
Australia regained the Ashes with victories in the first
three Tests of the five-match series.
Left-armer Starc took part in fielding drills then spent
more than half an hour bowling off his full run-up.
Smith hoped to train on Wednesday.
Starc was replaced in Melbourne by Jackson Bird, who failed
to take a wicket in a pace combination with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
"I haven't spoken to him but he looked like he was
bowling quick, running around and not limping," Cummins said of Starc's
return. "He's really keen to play and pretty confident he can play.
They'll see how he recovers ... the last couple of weeks it's certainly got a
Starc could be rested from the final match to ensure he is
fit for a four-Test tour of South Africa that begins March 1 in Durban.
Ashton Agar has been added to Australia's squad for the fifth
Test and could join Nathan Lyon in the starting XI at the spin-friendly SCG.