The Ashes 2009 July 22, 2009

Pietersen ruled out of Ashes

Cricinfo staff

Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the Ashes after undergoing surgery on his long-standing Achilles tendon injury. Pietersen was assessed on Wednesday morning by a leading specialist, and the decision was made to undergo surgery which means he will miss up to six weeks.

The news comes as a massive blow to England's morale and momentum after a week in which they finally ended a 75-year jinx in beating Australia at Lord's, and so went 1-0 up in an Ashes series for the first time since 1997. Pietersen's contribution to the match was muted, with twin scores of 32 and 44, but it nevertheless took his career tally against Australia to a formidable 1116 runs in 12 Tests, at an average of 50.72.

England, however, will now have to make do without that prowess. ECB Chief Medical Officer, Nick Peirce, said: "Following a consultation, involving scans and testing, with the world's leading Achilles specialist, Kevin Pietersen today underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon.

"The operation involved a small incision and trimming of the blood vessels and nerves around the inflamed tendon and appears, at this early stage, to have been routine. Kevin will look to undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure there is no risk of recurrence. This is expected to be approximately six weeks but will be taken at an appropriate pace following constant review.

"Despite conventional conservative treatments to the tendon with trial periods of rest and rehabilitation, Kevin continued to be in significant discomfort and is currently unable to run or even walk comfortably. He had a strong desire to get through the Ashes series but despite this he has recently been unable to achieve a maximum level of performance.

"A number of short-term measures were considered but having been reviewed by the specialist, who flew into London from Sweden specifically, it was felt that anything else would put the tendon at risk and jeopardise his long-term recovery."

Pietersen said: "As an England cricketer the Ashes are the pinnacle of the game so I'm absolutely devastated to be missing the rest of this series.

"Up until now the Achilles injury has been manageable but it recently reached the point where we needed to look at other options in terms of treatment. I hate missing matches for England and especially during an Ashes summer but now that the decision has been made to undergo surgery I'm confident I can return to the England team injury-free following a course of rehabilitation.

"I was pleased with the previous course of treatment as it allowed me to take part in this Ashes series but unfortunately the injury has recently deteriorated. To leave a winning dressing room at this time is heart breaking but it wouldn't be fair to the team or myself to continue given the severity of the injury. I'll be supporting the team closely and wish them the best of luck as they look to build on the brilliant win at Lord's and reclaim the Ashes."

In Pietersen's absence, England are likely to offer a recall to Ian Bell, who was dropped in February after a run of low scores, but who has been in fine form for Warwickshire this season, with 640 runs at 80.00 before today, when he made 7 against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.

"I am desperate to play," said Bell. "Having faced the Aussies before I know what to expect from them, and once you have appeared at Test level you want to carry on playing against the best players in the world."

The Australian camp maintained the line of the coach Tim Nielsen, who said on Tuesday he was not concerned by what was happening in England's squad. Shane Watson, the allrounder, said losing a key player like Pietersen "makes it very difficult".

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on July 24, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    I imagine KP made a few quid in the IPL and I surely don't begrudge him that but if he wants to be remembered as a great cricketer, he should consider that English and Australian supporters will always remember the result of this Ashes series but the people attending whatever meaningless IPL match he injured his Achillies in probably forgot the result before they left the ground.

    And leosaqib- you're right to say he isn't as threatening as he was in 2005 but that is because of this injury.

  • Mahendra on July 23, 2009, 12:29 GMT

    If Bell fails to make a mark in this series then I hope the England selector finally realise that Bell does not have temprament against the top teams. They should have learnt from Hick and Ramprakash that you need more than just talent

  • Karthik on July 23, 2009, 12:25 GMT

    Wow, the English are sure good at something, that is being delusional. KP has apparently not carried his wait as per a large number of post in reference to this article. Well the English decision making capability and ability to understand a situation are legendary, they actually making looking like complete idoits as being perfectly acceptable and actually being something to be proud off. Since when did one match which your'll make it like your'll won the series without KP. Since when has 2 matches in a series been sufficient to judge a players contribution. After all he did score a half century in the first match, which ideally England should have lost. Need i remind you that when KP did go on leave for a match, the English right royally made fools of themselves by losing to Netherlands. Oh yeah, right, lets be in self denial like Ashes 2006/2007 when the behind was walloped 5 nil. First your'll picked on Flintoff stating he was not needed, now it is KP.

  • Michael on July 23, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    Obviously it is big blow to lose Kp for the last 3 Tests, and were he fit and not limping it would be terrible. But as he is truly crocked I think he has done the right thing and can be fit for the winter. Reading some of the comments I am amazed at some people's attitudes about charismatic players.It sickens when people talk about KP's ego and they want a team of mediocre bores, gray men who do the right thing and lose every important game? Or are they disillusioned South Africans? Or just Aussies taking the mickey. It may not always be comfortable to have larger than life characters around but it sure as hell makes for better viewing.especially as he is the next best thing after Viv. As for Bell, lets hope the dropping has steeled him for the fight and he can make his massive talent count for more than 30-.

  • Philip on July 23, 2009, 11:53 GMT

    The Fact is that the Aussies fear Pieterson as they do Flintoff. They will be jumping for joy if Bell plays because he won't win England a test, The Aussies know that KP can.

  • Robert on July 23, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    Anyone who would prefer to see KP out of the Engalnd side rather than in it is not a true England fan. Comments about him not being a team player make me laugh - they don't have a clue what they are talking about. The only people happy about KP being out of the side are the Aussies and the beer sellers.

  • Julian on July 23, 2009, 9:05 GMT

    Some rubbish is being written by various "experts" about this.

    We've just comfortably beaten the Aussies with KP on half power. A full power KP is a fantastic player, but the half power version is just an ordinary batsman like any other.

  • Peter on July 23, 2009, 8:15 GMT

    How much damage did Pietersen do to his Achilles tendon playing in the IPL? Once again Pietersen has put himself first and the England team second. I'm really pleased he won't be playing in the rest of the Ashes as it means that the England team will be able to pull together and play as a team. The rather muted reaction from other England supporter suggests to me that I am not the only one who thinks like this.

  • Tony on July 23, 2009, 6:29 GMT

    Not sure it's as big a blow for the team as is commonly thought.His likely replacement though,Bell, is in racing parlance an exposed horse.We know what he can do against the best attacks and he isn't going to win any test matches for England. I personally would look beyond him for KP's replacement. And why doesn't Collingwood bat at No3?

  • Timothy on July 23, 2009, 6:11 GMT

    One Man's loss in another man's gain. Kevin Pietersen injury can only have a positive spin off for England. In the sense that Andy Flower will have a huge pool of players to chose from. Most importantly chose someone that will suit the English game plan. Pietersen's huge success has meant that he was becoming more of an icon. A man with his own game plan, which meant that Flower had to structure his game plan around Pietersen. His form also suggests that he was becoming a bit of a luxury to the side. In four innings, Pietersen has scored 153 runs [Cardiff 69 and 8, Lords 32 and 44]. This would suggest that the Australians had a game plan coming into this series. Its time for England to unleash new talent. They need to remind Pietersen that he is not irreplaceable.

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