Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc last played in the IPL in 2015Reuters

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc will not take part in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament after he suffered a leg injury while on international duty.

Starc, who sold for almost $1.5m in in the IPL auction in January to Kolkata Knight Riders, suffered a tibial bone stress fracture in his right leg in the build-up to Australia's fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

The left-armer has been left out Australia's team for the fourth Test, with South Australia seam bowler Chadd Seyers taking his place, and is set to fly back to Australia at the end of the series.

Starc's injury is a big loss for the Knight Riders, who will be allowed to sign a replacement before the tournaments gets underway on April 7.

The 28-year-old last played in the IPL in 2015. He missed the 2016 tournament due to a foot injury and opted out of playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore the following year to focus on his international career.

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle suggested KKR sign South Africa pace bowler Morne Morkel as replacement for Starc.

Starc was named man-of-the-match for returning figures of 9-109 in Australia's win over South Africa in the first Test, but captured only three wickets in the following two Tests.

KKR are also sweating over the fitness of Australia opener Chris Lynn, who is racing to recover from a shoulder injury.

West Indian spinner Sunil Narine's participation in the tournament is in doubt after his bowling action was reported during the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League Twenty20 tournament.

Starc joins compatriots Steve Smith and David Warner on the sidelines of the IPL, with the latter duo barred from taking part in this year's tournament due to their role in a ball-tampering plot.

Dinesh Karthik-led KKR will play their first match of this year's IPL against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens on April 8.