The Ashes 2013-14 November 10, 2013

Pietersen knee trouble flares again

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Kevin Pietersen's chronic knee problem has reared at a most inopportune moment for England, forcing him to fly to Melbourne for an injection to ward off the pain that may threaten his Ashes tour.*

Having missed three Tests against New Zealand and the Champions Trophy earlier in 2013 due to the same issue, Pietersen complained of discomfort during the Australia A tour match in Hobart and on Sunday flew separately from the England team to Melbourne for a cortisone jab. The treatment should allow him to take part in the tourists' final warm-up game in Sydney from Wednesday and the Test series beyond.

Following the procedure he linked up with his team-mates and tried to calm concerns over his fitness via Twitter. "I AM FINE #relax," he posted.

Andy Flower, the England team director, is confident that the injection should settle the problem sufficiently for the remainder of the tour but it remains a worrying event for England following the calf trouble that has made the wicketkeeper and vice-captain Matt Prior a doubt for the Brisbane Test.

"Kevin has had a slight recurrence of that knee issue, and he'll be going to Melbourne for a scan and a cortisone injection - so he won't be travelling with the rest of the team," Flower said. "I don't think it's going to be a huge issue. He's had a couple of these injections before, and they've been successful.

"They've quietened the problem down, and it's obviously an ongoing issue for him. But they have been successful, and we anticipate this one being successful and anticipate him playing a full part in the Ashes tour. We anticipate him playing in the Sydney game. We're doing the jab tomorrow, so he's got a little bit of time for the jab to work before we train on Tuesday."

Pietersen made only the briefest appearance in the Hobart match, a 12-minute stay at the crease interrupted by rain delays and the lunch break on the final day before it was ended by a Trent Copeland shooter that pinned him in front of the stumps.

During the Ashes in England, Pietersen said that he would have to manage his knee for the rest of his career and he recently admitted in a video for the ECB website that he continued to harbour doubts. "I had the knee issue and I have to make sure the rehab continues," Pietersen said. "I don't want to break down, I want to play the whole series."

Cortisone injections are useful for chronic problems among cricketers, but only up to a point. Repeated use of the treatment can result in a lessening of its effectiveness, while also taking a toll on the joint itself - something Pietersen's former Hampshire team-mate Shane Warne experienced when having his overworked spinning finger repeatedly jabbed early in his career before finally resorting to surgery in 1996.

Pietersen and Prior are among key England players in their 30s and there have been suggestions that the demographic of the team could create a danger of the same mass exodus of names that Australia suffered. However, Graeme Swann, the oldest player in the squad at 34, who has suffered is own problems with his elbow, does believe the injuries signal a worrying trend.

"I don't think we need to worry about the age of the team - I think I'm the oldest,'' he said at an event to launch his tour diary videos. "It's not like we're all pushing the boundaries. If the oldest player is that age, it's not like you're all ready for the Home Guard yet.''

"Obviously, I've got my elbow that keeps rearing its head every now and then, so that's something I have to work on. Kev's got his leg issues. It is natural progression of time. As you get older, your body doesn't respond to as much work as well.

"That's why you don't see too many international sportsmen in their 40s - at least performing at the top of their game. It is something we've got to be aware of, got to stay on top of.''

*2.30pm, November 10: This story was updated with Graeme Swann's quotes

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Batmanian on November 10, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    As an Australian, feel sorry for KP and England. He's an important player. Of course, they have more depth, but no-one quite like Pietersen (shades of Botham 1989?). Ironically, it's probably the first time Khawaja has been in good enough form to get excited about, and this is the time he's unlikely to get a chance as there are actually enough options not to give his obvious talent another whirl at stepping up to the top level. I really hope it's a tough series, and neither team loses it mentally in the first couple of Tests. I really hope it's such a tough series we get six Test Ashes series restored in their rightful place in the calendar.

  • on November 11, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    Its very sad to see KP being injured always ! Losing someone like KP is a big blow .. Someone who averages above 48 is always a crucial member of the team. I just hope he gets back to England !

  • JG2704 on November 11, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    @dunger.bob on (November 10, 2013, 23:54 GMT) I'm not sure re not getting on with his teammates (at present) so I wasn't touching on that issue. IMO he's a very complex character who has self confidence in abundance in the middle of a cricket pitch but not as a person away from the cricket pitch. Maybe hypersensitive bordering on paranoiah? I think he's maybe a perfectionist (maybe to the degree of snobbery) and wants to play against/alongside top players and sees playing CC cricket as a bore.

  • jmcilhinney on November 11, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    @jb633 on (November 10, 2013, 23:14 GMT), Swann is not having recurring injuries. He had an issue with some bone fragments in his elbow. He had surgery to remove them but some that were very close to the nerve were left behind. He tried to continue with those left behind but it became too much so he had a second surgery and now the issue has been resolved completely. He only had issues as long as there were bone fragments loose but they have all been removed.

  • on November 11, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    Er, if KP isn't fit to play Tedt cricket, he's unlikely going to fit enough to play four day county cricket is he? I would have thought that was obvious. He ll play in this Ashes, he knows it will be his last and he loves the limelight. Gordon Greenidge played Test cricket with a dodgy knee for ages, I'm sure KP can manage one more series with the help of a few injections.

  • Nutcutlet on November 10, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    There is a distinct feeling from this article, & comments arising, that KP's time wearing an England shirt are numbered. Knees, we all know, take a lot of hammer, particularly the one that takes the transfer of weight, i.e. the left for KP, well illustrated here. As the article points out, cortisone jabs can do a job, but only for so long & if this is KP's nth such treatment on the knee(s), neither he nor Andy Flower can know how much Test cricket he has left in him, but it ain't too much from what can be gathered. The question then arises, if he's ok to play on day one at Brisbane, will he still be ok on day 5? Going into a Test with a key player less than say, 80%, is a huge gamble. This means, I think, that whoever is likely to take KP's place in the final XI needs to play in the final warm-up, besides KP himself. Given that Prior has also has a twinge, I suspect that Bairstow has to play -- a sort of each-way bet.

  • dunger.bob on November 10, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    Part of the appeal of KP for me has been mentioned by @JG and others. He doesn't like some of his team mates, he doesn't like the county championship, he doesn't get on with so and so, hates this, can't tolerate that and so on.

    You've got to be bloody kidding haven't you? How can someone as prickly as that be an integral part of a successful sporting team for so long? .. However you've managed to do it, I bet it's been .... challenging. It's a feather in the cap of England's management set up I suppose, but I'm not going to say so. More like dumb luck I reckon.

    Anyway, it all just adds to the enigma of KP. This could be his last trip down here so I won't begrudge him a few good knocks. Just not too many too often thanks Kev.

  • jb633 on November 10, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    I think this will be KP's and Swanny's last Ashes tour. Both of them are having these recurring injuries and they don't seem to have the bodies to continue as long as some have. I hope I am proved wrong because they are two of our most important players and we can't replace them. I at least hope we get another KP ashes special this series.

  • jmcilhinney on November 10, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (November 10, 2013, 17:53 GMT), did you watch the last Ashes series in England? Sure, in general no team is going to be happy losing a player with KP's average. In his case, it's not even just his average but the fact that, on occasions, he's able to make his runs with such apparent ease while everyone else is struggling. That said, England can win without KP firing, as they showed in the last series. They won't want to rely on Australia collapsing and Bell bailing them out every time but they have plenty of others who can score runs too. If Cook and Trott can play to their average then that will alone will give them a big boost. I agree that KP is a special player but it gets a bit annoying when people who spend most of their time watching IPL seem to think that he's the only England player who can bat.

  • SirViv1973 on November 10, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    Although this is a worrying development I think it's a bit early to be talking about Pietersen being forced to retire. Although I don't think he will want to play test matches for years & years, I certainly think he would like to be around a while longer to try & get Eng back to No1. We will just have to see how things go but as I say it is a worry.

  • Batmanian on November 10, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    As an Australian, feel sorry for KP and England. He's an important player. Of course, they have more depth, but no-one quite like Pietersen (shades of Botham 1989?). Ironically, it's probably the first time Khawaja has been in good enough form to get excited about, and this is the time he's unlikely to get a chance as there are actually enough options not to give his obvious talent another whirl at stepping up to the top level. I really hope it's a tough series, and neither team loses it mentally in the first couple of Tests. I really hope it's such a tough series we get six Test Ashes series restored in their rightful place in the calendar.

  • on November 11, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    Its very sad to see KP being injured always ! Losing someone like KP is a big blow .. Someone who averages above 48 is always a crucial member of the team. I just hope he gets back to England !

  • JG2704 on November 11, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    @dunger.bob on (November 10, 2013, 23:54 GMT) I'm not sure re not getting on with his teammates (at present) so I wasn't touching on that issue. IMO he's a very complex character who has self confidence in abundance in the middle of a cricket pitch but not as a person away from the cricket pitch. Maybe hypersensitive bordering on paranoiah? I think he's maybe a perfectionist (maybe to the degree of snobbery) and wants to play against/alongside top players and sees playing CC cricket as a bore.

  • jmcilhinney on November 11, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    @jb633 on (November 10, 2013, 23:14 GMT), Swann is not having recurring injuries. He had an issue with some bone fragments in his elbow. He had surgery to remove them but some that were very close to the nerve were left behind. He tried to continue with those left behind but it became too much so he had a second surgery and now the issue has been resolved completely. He only had issues as long as there were bone fragments loose but they have all been removed.

  • on November 11, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    Er, if KP isn't fit to play Tedt cricket, he's unlikely going to fit enough to play four day county cricket is he? I would have thought that was obvious. He ll play in this Ashes, he knows it will be his last and he loves the limelight. Gordon Greenidge played Test cricket with a dodgy knee for ages, I'm sure KP can manage one more series with the help of a few injections.

  • Nutcutlet on November 10, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    There is a distinct feeling from this article, & comments arising, that KP's time wearing an England shirt are numbered. Knees, we all know, take a lot of hammer, particularly the one that takes the transfer of weight, i.e. the left for KP, well illustrated here. As the article points out, cortisone jabs can do a job, but only for so long & if this is KP's nth such treatment on the knee(s), neither he nor Andy Flower can know how much Test cricket he has left in him, but it ain't too much from what can be gathered. The question then arises, if he's ok to play on day one at Brisbane, will he still be ok on day 5? Going into a Test with a key player less than say, 80%, is a huge gamble. This means, I think, that whoever is likely to take KP's place in the final XI needs to play in the final warm-up, besides KP himself. Given that Prior has also has a twinge, I suspect that Bairstow has to play -- a sort of each-way bet.

  • dunger.bob on November 10, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    Part of the appeal of KP for me has been mentioned by @JG and others. He doesn't like some of his team mates, he doesn't like the county championship, he doesn't get on with so and so, hates this, can't tolerate that and so on.

    You've got to be bloody kidding haven't you? How can someone as prickly as that be an integral part of a successful sporting team for so long? .. However you've managed to do it, I bet it's been .... challenging. It's a feather in the cap of England's management set up I suppose, but I'm not going to say so. More like dumb luck I reckon.

    Anyway, it all just adds to the enigma of KP. This could be his last trip down here so I won't begrudge him a few good knocks. Just not too many too often thanks Kev.

  • jb633 on November 10, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    I think this will be KP's and Swanny's last Ashes tour. Both of them are having these recurring injuries and they don't seem to have the bodies to continue as long as some have. I hope I am proved wrong because they are two of our most important players and we can't replace them. I at least hope we get another KP ashes special this series.

  • jmcilhinney on November 10, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (November 10, 2013, 17:53 GMT), did you watch the last Ashes series in England? Sure, in general no team is going to be happy losing a player with KP's average. In his case, it's not even just his average but the fact that, on occasions, he's able to make his runs with such apparent ease while everyone else is struggling. That said, England can win without KP firing, as they showed in the last series. They won't want to rely on Australia collapsing and Bell bailing them out every time but they have plenty of others who can score runs too. If Cook and Trott can play to their average then that will alone will give them a big boost. I agree that KP is a special player but it gets a bit annoying when people who spend most of their time watching IPL seem to think that he's the only England player who can bat.

  • SirViv1973 on November 10, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    Although this is a worrying development I think it's a bit early to be talking about Pietersen being forced to retire. Although I don't think he will want to play test matches for years & years, I certainly think he would like to be around a while longer to try & get Eng back to No1. We will just have to see how things go but as I say it is a worry.

  • SirViv1973 on November 10, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    @SamRoy, KP has not left the team yet & Bell is only 29 & nowhere near 'an advanced age', So how do you know that the players who end up replacing them won't be aggressive & attractive batsman to watch?

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 10, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    If KP is unfit, England will have a huge gaping hole in that middle order. They simply don't have any one who could play as well as KP. Imagine shaving away at least 100 runs off your final total every time KP isn't there. Gary Ballance ? Please ! Nobody compares with the brilliance of KP.

  • JG2704 on November 10, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (November 10, 2013, 10:57 GMT) I don't know what the score is with central contracts either. I reckon there would be something in place whereby if a player retires from test cricket within that year then for anything other than an injury - then there would be some sort of compensation package put in place , esp if he played IPL. I'm not sure there are SF contracts anymore? Just from what another guy said on another thread. Also in previous years they did all the contracts at the same time. This year they just listed the CC players so maybe they've done away with the other Agree with you on him playing for Surrey. I think he only plays for Surrey because it'd part of the CC deal. If he retires from tests then - unless he is totally crippled by injury - he'll just do the nits you mentioned

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 10, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    An England side without KP would as we have seen be a considerably lesser side. Whatever the hype about Ballance I would like to actually see this happen.Anyway I hope KP does keep the knee okay for a while longer. Temperature fluctuations don't exactly help those sort of problems, nor long flights.

  • cornered_again on November 10, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Get well soon man...Ashes won't be the same without you !

  • PrasPunter on November 10, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding, pretty much yes. In response to another article, I had posted that Cook is the key reason for Eng's success in india. Just stated the fact that KP's innings in Mumbai on a raging turner won the match for Eng and from there on, it was their show. Inspite of being on the opposite side, I admire Cook for the fact that he is a very good test-cricketer with loads of temperament. I for sure enjoyed Cook's successes in india, something that we couldn't replicate.

  • AKS286 on November 10, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    Injuries before big series is really a bad news for any team. The only thing I want is Poms will play with full powerhouse team in first 3 matches. I've a doubt that KP will play the first three.

  • PrasPunter on November 10, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding , pretty much yes. In-fact in response to a recent article on Cook, I had credited Cook as the key reason for Eng's success in india. I had just stated the fact that KP played a brilliant knock in the 2nd test in Mumbai on a raging turner the indians dished out to them. His innings was very crucial - Eng won the test and from there on, it was their show all the way. Not taking anything away from Cook, who I admire a lot, inspite of being an Ashes adversary , inspite of us losing the previous version over there in Eng.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on November 10, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    ahhh the memories come flooding back, just replace a champion with another champion we can get rid of captain whats his name and replace him with, well, position still vacant, now we will replace pieterson with, well, position vacant. sounds like the old and the new ACB.

  • MohammedPadela on November 10, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Well KP can now be given a title of 'handle with care material'. This is the second time this has happened and can force hime to retire from the longer format. Take an example of how South Africa is handling Kallis. He hasnt retired from any of the formats but ususally plays test matches and IPL. However, he is in the squad for the big tournaments like the world t20 in Srilanka last year. Hence, KP can skip some odis in the middle if they are not important. For example, if England is travelling to India- you will need KP for each and every game ( odi t20 and test) as he is the one of the few from the current England side who is familiar with the subcontinent conditions. England needs him for the t20 tournamnet in Bangladesh next year as he was the Man of the tournament in 2010 West Indies, which was the main reason why England won the tournamnet.

  • jmcilhinney on November 10, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    @Cyril_Knight on (November 10, 2013, 9:16 GMT), KP's never been a big fan of county cricket so I wonder whether he would continue to play it if he retired from Test cricket, particularly if he was doing so to protect a dodgy knee. 6 weeks of IPL or whatever it is and playing T20s and ODIs for England would be more than he'd need to finance himself for the year so why play the CC if he doesn't really enjoy it?

  • jmcilhinney on November 10, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    @JG2704 on (November 10, 2013, 9:36 GMT), I'm not sure what the details regarding central contracts would be but I'm sure that they wouldn't try to force a player to keep playing if they wanted to retire. Given that Tests are treated separately while the two limited-overs formats are treated as a set, KP could reasonably retire from Tests and keep playing both T20I and ODI and retain a central contract, albeit a renegotiated one, give that Morgan was centrally contracted last year while not in the Test team. Mind you, the ECB seem to be shuffling the schedule so that the first home Test doesn't clash with the IPL. If they play the limited-overs games against the first tourists first then it may be that KP still can't play a full IPL season because he has to be available for England limited-overs duty. That would screw Hales and other English players too though, so maybe the ECB will try to avoid that.

  • CodandChips on November 10, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Next warm up: Cook Root Trott Bell Balance Bairstow (wk) Stokes Broad Swann Broad Finn Rankin- Jimmy needs a rest. Carberry has had 2 games so can have a rest. Balance and Stokes shoot out as KP cover. Stokes bowling covers for Finn , Rankin and Broad if they don't turn up.

  • YorkshirePudding on November 10, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    @PrasPunter, actually wasnt it Cook that was the main stay of the england batting with 562 runs at an average of 80, while Kp only managed 338 at 48, even Prior managed a higher average than KP on that tour. Talk about media driven perspectives, KP is an excellent player but hes not the best batsman in the team.

  • CodandChips on November 10, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Always said Balance is a Pietersen replacement. Here could be his chance. Shame he can't buy a run atm but if KP can't play I'd have him at 6 and Root 5.

  • JG2704 on November 10, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (November 10, 2013, 0:43 GMT) I can see where you're coming from re KP retiring but re the central contracts - I presume he , like all the others have signed them. Therefore , while he could retire due to recurring injury surely (unless there is some special clause) it will not allow for him to retire and play IPL while still within the contract timeframe.

    @Mitty2 on (November 10, 2013, 6:43 GMT) I don't think any Eng batsman (inc KP) could be described as attacking in that Ashes series. Maybe Jonny's SR was due to team instructions,nerves ,decent bowling or a combo. Watch him in the 3rd test vs SA 2012.

  • Cyril_Knight on November 10, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    @jmcilhinney You're right to speculate on Pietersen retiring from Tests. When England win and he plays another blinding series, what else is there for him to achieve? To finish as a five time Ashes winner with an average in excess of 50 is some record. Also, no matter what he says, I don't think he enjoys the company of many of his England team-mates, he has an obvious dislike of Anderson, Swann and Broad.

    Personally I think it would be the right time to quit, but I'm being a bit selfish; the prospect of watching him and Graeme Smith together at Surrey next summer, is rather tasty.

    From KP's financial perspective he would probably like to play against India next summer, just to keep his profile there high.

  • milepost on November 10, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    @Mitty2 I'm sure @FFL has the excuses scripted already for when England start losing. Thing is, Australia are the underdogs that no one expects to win. It's all for England to do. I want KP playing, he's an entertainer and test cricket is better with him in the game for sure. He's more Australian styled in his play.

  • fasih123 on November 10, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    Bairstow should keep wickets in Brisbane if Prior is injured

  • Katey on November 10, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    There's no question KP puts bums on seats and also bums on couches in front of the TV. Whether they win or lose the Ashes, Aus cricket will benefit financially if he can play throughout. But for his own sake he'd better be careful about too many cortisone injections. they just cover up the problem, they don't fix it. And to carry on and on playing with a damaged knee is going to aggravate the problem ... look at horse racing. Eventually KP will have to either stop playing permanently or get the knee operated on.

  • Mitty2 on November 10, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    @landl47, is that implying Bairstow's an attacking batsman? I've only really seen him this Ashes and him v Roach and in all I certainly didn't get the air of an attacking batsman. His strike rate was 40 in the Ashes and there was one test where he didn't score for almost one and a half hours although he did score fast against SA. Does he score the runs quickly in the CC? (Curious)

  • PrasPunter on November 10, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    KP is a great player - Loved the way he smashed the indians all around in the test series in india last year . Was key to Eng's win over there. Personally, I dont like to see anyone getting injured. Wishing KP and Prior a speedy recovery. Can't wait for Nov 21 !!

  • dunger.bob on November 10, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    @ RednWhiteArmy: We love it when he does a Phil Tufnel in the outfield, but I'm not sure it's love we're feeling when he's pummelling our bowlers.

  • RednWhiteArmy on November 10, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    KP is a soldier & wont miss out on his chance to grind the aussies into the dirt. He loves it, I love it, we all love it!

  • landl47 on November 10, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    I think KP will try to keep going until the WC in 2015, with perhaps a break here and there. I'm sure he'd like to play in the India series next year. However, I can't see him still playing tests in 2015.

    Let's hope this treatment works. Although England has shown that his absence is not fatal to their chances, he does bring balance to a side which needs an attacking batsman at #4. With Ballance not in the runs and Bairstow not playing, KP is a key element of the England side for now.

  • SamRoy on November 10, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    Once Kev leaves test cricket and Bell gets to a more advanced age, no neutral fan can watch England bat. They would be a team of 4 or 5 Geoff Boycotts. Certainly would earn the moniker of "The Most Boring Batting Line-Up Ever Assembled".

  • jmcilhinney on November 10, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    It's hard not to think that KP is likely to retire from Test cricket after this series, especially if England win or at least retain the Ashes. Regardless of anything else that's been said or done, the last thing he wants to do is to aggravate this knee condition to the point where it hampers him day-to-day for the rest of his life. That would also free him up to play a full IPL season, which would be enough to set him up financially for a good many years. I guess the question is whether he will retire from international cricket altogether or try to hang on for the next WT20 and WC. Of course, there's the question of whether he can play and be effective for any or all of this series and, if not, who will take his place. Would it be Ballance, who has had some game time but failed, or Bairstow, who has had no game time at all. England really have some decisions to make for the last warmup and maybe for the last warmup after the first Test too.

  • dunger.bob on November 9, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    I hope he comes good. He may be an absolute menace but he's an interesting and entertaining cricketer. ... Having him out of the mix will help our cause no-end but it would also take a bit out of the series. Kev is the sort of player who brings interest to the game and puts bums on seats at the venues. .. so, get well soon Kevin.

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    Prior, KP injuries. Rain for two days hampering preparation. Is there something here conspiring for an Aussie Ashes win? Front-Foot-Lunge I'd like to hear your thoughts on this ;)

    But seriously, no one likes seeing the best players get injured, let alone anyone get injured and playing a team at less than full strength. I love watching KP like everyone, and I hope he's fine. Particularly looking forward to the Lyon v KP battle again.

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    Prior, KP injuries. Rain for two days hampering preparation. Is there something here conspiring for an Aussie Ashes win? Front-Foot-Lunge I'd like to hear your thoughts on this ;)

    But seriously, no one likes seeing the best players get injured, let alone anyone get injured and playing a team at less than full strength. I love watching KP like everyone, and I hope he's fine. Particularly looking forward to the Lyon v KP battle again.

  • dunger.bob on November 9, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    I hope he comes good. He may be an absolute menace but he's an interesting and entertaining cricketer. ... Having him out of the mix will help our cause no-end but it would also take a bit out of the series. Kev is the sort of player who brings interest to the game and puts bums on seats at the venues. .. so, get well soon Kevin.

  • jmcilhinney on November 10, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    It's hard not to think that KP is likely to retire from Test cricket after this series, especially if England win or at least retain the Ashes. Regardless of anything else that's been said or done, the last thing he wants to do is to aggravate this knee condition to the point where it hampers him day-to-day for the rest of his life. That would also free him up to play a full IPL season, which would be enough to set him up financially for a good many years. I guess the question is whether he will retire from international cricket altogether or try to hang on for the next WT20 and WC. Of course, there's the question of whether he can play and be effective for any or all of this series and, if not, who will take his place. Would it be Ballance, who has had some game time but failed, or Bairstow, who has had no game time at all. England really have some decisions to make for the last warmup and maybe for the last warmup after the first Test too.

  • SamRoy on November 10, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    Once Kev leaves test cricket and Bell gets to a more advanced age, no neutral fan can watch England bat. They would be a team of 4 or 5 Geoff Boycotts. Certainly would earn the moniker of "The Most Boring Batting Line-Up Ever Assembled".

  • landl47 on November 10, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    I think KP will try to keep going until the WC in 2015, with perhaps a break here and there. I'm sure he'd like to play in the India series next year. However, I can't see him still playing tests in 2015.

    Let's hope this treatment works. Although England has shown that his absence is not fatal to their chances, he does bring balance to a side which needs an attacking batsman at #4. With Ballance not in the runs and Bairstow not playing, KP is a key element of the England side for now.

  • RednWhiteArmy on November 10, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    KP is a soldier & wont miss out on his chance to grind the aussies into the dirt. He loves it, I love it, we all love it!

  • dunger.bob on November 10, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    @ RednWhiteArmy: We love it when he does a Phil Tufnel in the outfield, but I'm not sure it's love we're feeling when he's pummelling our bowlers.

  • PrasPunter on November 10, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    KP is a great player - Loved the way he smashed the indians all around in the test series in india last year . Was key to Eng's win over there. Personally, I dont like to see anyone getting injured. Wishing KP and Prior a speedy recovery. Can't wait for Nov 21 !!

  • Mitty2 on November 10, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    @landl47, is that implying Bairstow's an attacking batsman? I've only really seen him this Ashes and him v Roach and in all I certainly didn't get the air of an attacking batsman. His strike rate was 40 in the Ashes and there was one test where he didn't score for almost one and a half hours although he did score fast against SA. Does he score the runs quickly in the CC? (Curious)

  • Katey on November 10, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    There's no question KP puts bums on seats and also bums on couches in front of the TV. Whether they win or lose the Ashes, Aus cricket will benefit financially if he can play throughout. But for his own sake he'd better be careful about too many cortisone injections. they just cover up the problem, they don't fix it. And to carry on and on playing with a damaged knee is going to aggravate the problem ... look at horse racing. Eventually KP will have to either stop playing permanently or get the knee operated on.