England news March 27, 2013

Pietersen's knee injury doesn't need surgery

Kevin Pietersen will not require surgery for the knee injury that forced him to leave the tour of New Zealand early, plus withdraw from the IPL, and is on course to be available for the start of England's home international season.

Pietersen, who underwent scans in London on Tuesday, was diagnosed with bruising on the bone around his right knee, rather than cartilage damage that may have required an operation and a longer recovery time.

He will now wear a brace for two weeks, followed by another fortnight of rest, before undergoing further evaluation. The initial prognosis, when Pietersen flew home, was up to eight weeks before he would return to action.

England's opening Test against New Zealand is on May 16 and Pietersen will require some first-class matches before then to prove his fitness, but Andy Flower, the team director, was confident of him being ready.

"He is being put in a brace for two weeks. He will be off exercise, or any impact exercise, after that for another couple of weeks. Then he'll start his rehab. We anticipate him playing a full part in the summer. He's been in some pain, but we hope he'll be ready to go by the start of the summer."

Pietersen was discomforted throughout his time in New Zealand, but made 73 in the second Test in Wellington before the problem worsened to a degree where he was unable to play in the decider at Eden Park.

He will be one of three England players whose recovery from injury will be closely monitored in the early weeks of the season. Graeme Swann, who underwent elbow surgery three weeks ago, is also trying to be fit for the New Zealand series, although the selectors may give him more time depending on his progress.

Tim Bresnan, another who had an operation to try and solve an elbow problem, is due to return to action for Yorkshire in their second County Championship match of the season against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo