Pietersen frustrated by Achilles problems
Kevin Pietersen fears that the Achilles injury that has hampered his summer could end up ruling him out at some stage of the Ashes series. Pietersen, who made an unusually ponderous 44 from 101 balls on the third day of the second Test at Lord's, has undergone four injections to get him fit for the series, and wrote in his newspaper column that the injury has been playing on his mind "all day and every day".
"People who have had injuries know that it definitely does affect the way they play," Pietersen wrote in The News of the World. "It doesn't really affect my strokeplay but running between wickets and diving around is problematic. This is the first injury I have had and, mentally, they really do get to you. I've had two injections into my back - a perineural and an epidural. And I've had a cortisone and a homeopathic injection into my Achilles."
Pietersen left the field for 11 overs to receive treatment during Australia's first innings on Friday, and continued to struggle on the field during the weekend. The regular absences of Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, who has a knee injury, have been noticed by the Australians but the coach Tim Nielsen would not buy into the issue, like the team did in 2005. "If they want to go off the ground it's up to them," he said. "It doesn't worry me at all."
Flintoff started limping after fielding a ball from his own bowling, but he continued his spell and his team-mate Graeme Swann said he would be ready for the final day. "I don't think you have to worry about pain with Fred, every time he comes off the field for whatever reason he comes back on," he said. "You think, is that going to be the end of him, and he bowls at 95mph again. As far as i'm concerned, it's fine."
After back-to-back matches at Cardiff and Lord's, the teams have a decent break before the third Test at Edgbaston at the end of the month, and Pietersen remains optimistic that the day-to-day management of the injury will get him fit in time for the start.
"Right now, it's just a case of getting through the match and making sure I get myself right because there's a 10-day break at the end which will give me a chance to rest up," he wrote. "I'm not ruling anything out in terms of the rest of the series. What I will say is I am doing everything I can to get myself right. I'll do anything I can do to play." David Lloyd, the former England coach turned commentator, said on Twitter the talk was that Pietersen could be out of the series, but there has been no confirmation from the England camp.