England news March 20, 2013

Pietersen to miss Auckland Test, IPL with knee injury

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Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of all cricket for up to eight weeks by the knee injury which has been troubling him during the New Zealand tour. He will miss the deciding Test in Auckland, which starts on Friday, as well as the IPL with a view to him being fit for the Champions Trophy and the Ashes.

The estimated recovery time makes Pietersen doubtful for the return series against New Zealand, beginning on May 16 at Lord's. He first felt the problem, which could be caused by cartilage damage, during the warm-up match in Queenstown, although it only really came to light when he was absent for a session of the Dunedin Test. England were fielding at the time and it was played down as nothing serious. He made 0 and 12 in the first Test, and although he responded with 73 in Dunedin, he was never fluent but remained on the field.

"Pietersen experienced knee pain while fielding in preparation for the four-day game in Queenstown earlier this month, ahead of the Test series," the ECB said in a statement. "This has failed to resolve satisfactorily.

"Recent scans confirm an injury to the right knee with bone bruising and possible cartilage damage to the kneecap. The 32-year-old will return to the UK for further investigations and specialist review.

"The injury is likely to require ongoing assessments and a likely six-eight week period of rest and rehabilitation. Pietersen has therefore been withdrawn from all cricket including the Indian Premier League."

The fact Pietersen has not been kept on in New Zealand with the series at stake shows that time is already of the essence to get him ready for the main events of the English season. In 2009 he was forced out mid-way through the Ashes series with a career-threatening Achilles injury.

Pietersen's withdrawal will mean a likely recall to the middle order for Jonny Bairstow, the Yorkshire batsman who has not played since the Twenty20 series earlier in the tour. His previous Test was against India, in Mumbai, when he stood in for Ian Bell who went home for the birth of his child.

It won't be the first time Bairstow has replaced Pietersen in a Test line-up. He came in for the deciding match against South Africa, at Lord's, last year following Pietersen's dropping after the text-message controversy. Baristow responded with scores of 95 and 54. In five Tests he has scored 196 runs at 32.66.

England will now be sweating on the fitness of two key players over the next two months. Graeme Swann is currently in the early stages of his recovery from elbow surgery after he was ruled out of the New Zealand tour on the morning of the first Test.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on March 21, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    @Munkeymomo on (March 20, 2013, 22:10 GMT) You're spot on there. I've always said that IPL franchises will always go for a marquee name over a player who is actually good at the format. Also they are by and large more likely to go for batsmen who once in a while will batter a bowling attack than a consistent bowler who will very rarely go much above 7rpo.

  • JG2704 on March 21, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    @anshu.s (15:15 GMT) bud , you have a point but the trouble is IPL coincides with the English summer (which isn't a long summer). Re Aus , it does not coincide with their summer - not sure re SA.

    @Tigg (12:37 GMT) Like that side but Broad finally looks like he's rediscovered his form and Johnny certainly deserves another opportunity

  • JG2704 on March 21, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @Sudhir65 (13:40 GMT) Surely it says alot about IPL's depth to you if KP not playing makes that amount of difference

  • westindiesupporter on March 21, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    oh not good news.thank god i saw this before picking my fantasy team for ipl.

  • dummy4fb on March 21, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    I saw KP on Queen st, Auckland the other day, was walking straight though.

  • Maddy4ever on March 21, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    Bad news for Delhi Daredavils.they already transferred Taylor to PWI and now they'll lose another hard hitter KP. All the best DD.

  • Dashgar on March 21, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Well lucky for him he only misses 1 game. Hopefully his form has deserted him by the time the ashes roll round.

  • satishchandar on March 21, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    They fought and fought for the rest and playing stuffs for this year IPL and had big tension flowing around them.. Ban, retirement, come out of it, probation, permanent contract and all these stuffs happened for a period which is going to end up in bed.. Such a life this is..

  • dummy4fb on March 21, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    I was looking forward to see him in ipl!! BIG BLOW TO HIS FANS

  • jmcilhinney on March 21, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    @Paul Rone-Clarke on (March 20, 2013, 19:26 GMT), Bairstow is the spare batsman in the squad so he'll step into the team and I doubt that they will call up an extra batsman as cover at this late stage. NZ is pretty much on the other side of the globe to the UK so it would be a 24 hour flight and terrible jet lag to almost certainly sit on the bench for just one game. If someone else was injured then they'd probably just move Prior up to #6 and play Woakes at #7.