New Delhi, March 30: In a major blow to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Australia pacer Mitchell Starc who was hit by stress fracture in his leg on Thursday has been ruled out for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

Earlier, the speedster was replaced for the final Test against South Africa by debutant Chadd Sayers as Starc will fly home after the series for further injury investigation and assessment, according to cricket.com.au.

“Mitchell Starc has a ‘tibial bone stress in his right leg’. He will return home for further assessment after the Test and will miss the IPL,” Cricket Australia announced on Twitter.

The 28-year-old was bought by the Kolkata outfit during the auction for Rs. 9.40 Crore after he was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2017.  Starc, will thus miss the lucrative professional Twenty20 League for the third time in a row.

However, KKR will be able to choose a replacement from the Registered and Available Player Pool (RAPP).

Meanwhile, the pace department for KKR remain with R. Vinay Kumar, India U-19 World rising stars Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi and Carribean Premier League (CPL) star Javon Searles to select from.