Gun allrounder Marcus Stoinis has declared himself fit to resume bowling in a boost to the Melbourne Stars' flagging Big Bash League finals hopes.
Stoinis suffered a side strain in Australia's ODI win over India in late November and hasn't bowled since.
It has hurt a Stars outfit that lost Nathan Coulter-Nile to a calf injury late last month and is still waiting for the spearhead to return.
But Stoinis said he is ready to send down his right-arm medium pace for the Stars in Friday night's important clash with Adelaide at the MCG.
"Hopefully it's this game, I think it will be," Stoinis said on Thursday.
"I've been fit for probably a week or 10 days, but actually having the chance to bowl in the nets has been a bit of a tough option at the moment (because of travel requirements).
"We've had that (chance) the last couple of days and, everything going well, I'll play as a bowler next game."
Stoinis averages almost 40 with the bat this tournament but has been unable to prevent the Stars sliding to seventh on the table with just one win in their past six games.
After starting the season on the road, the Stars now enjoy a run of five straight fixtures in Melbourne, including four at the MCG.
Stoinis hopes the home stretch will be a launching pad into the finals and a long-awaited BBL title for the Stars, who have been runners-up the last two seasons.
"We're still in the hunt," Stoinis said.
"We've got a great run home and we know from past experience that the way you're playing at this time of the year and leading into the finals is the most important thing, as long as you're there.
"It can quickly turn from a team that's struggling to make the finals to a team that's favourites to win."
The Stars will be out to reverse their most recent result on Friday night, having suffered a five-wicket defeat away to Adelaide on Monday.
Australian Associated Press