Injured Pietersen ruled out of Ashes (Lead)

July 22nd, 2009 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 22 (IANS) England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the rest of the Ashes series against Australia following an operation on his Achilles tendon Wednesday, the team doctor said.
Pietersen, who will be out of action for six weeks and therefore will have to sit out the remaining three Ashes Tests, said he was “devastated”.

“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.”

England, which won the second Test Monday, are 1-0 up in the series but are also faced with doubts over the fitness of their star allrounder Andrew Flintoff.

England and Wales Cricket Board chief medical officer Nick Peirce said Pietersen underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon Wednesday.

“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,” Peirce said.

Although Pietersen played in the 115-run victory over Australia at Lord’s, he spent lengthy spells off the field and was clearly in pain when running.

He said it would be heartbreaking for him to leave a winning dressing room at this time.

“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.”

Pietersen’s withdrawal means Ian Bell is set to come in for next week’s third Test at Edgbaston. England coach Andy Flower had indicated the Warwickshire batsman, who has been in impressive form for his county, was next in line, having been included in the squad for the first two Tests.

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