Pietersen out of NZ series
Kevin Pietersen is keeping his "fingers crossed" to be fit for England's Ashes defence after he was ruled out of the Investec Test series against New Zealand.
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Pietersen is recovering from "significant bone bruising" to his right knee and he will have a scan next week to determine when he is able to resume training.
England launch a busy summer of cricket with two Tests against New Zealand in May followed by three one-day internationals against the Black Caps and the ICC Champions Trophy.
After two Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand, England will then enter the climax of the summer with the first Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge starting on July 10.
Pietersen tweeted: "Injuries are a sportsman's worst nightmare! This one is hurting me the most.."
In response to supportive messages he received on the social networking site, Pietersen wrote he was "trying" to be fit for the Ashes series and that he had his "fingers crossed".
The 32-year-old batsman first felt pain in his right knee early in England's tour of New Zealand.
Pietersen played through the pain in the first two Tests but flew home before the third Test for further investigation.
A brief statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board said: "England and Surrey batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the upcoming Investec Test series against New Zealand as he continues his recovery from significant bone bruising to his right knee.
"Pietersen will have a repeat scan next week to determine when he is able to resume training."
Kevin Pietersen factfile:
1980: Born June 27 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, to an Afrikaans father and an English mother.
1997-98: Makes first-class debut for Natal as an off-spinning all-rounder.
2001: Joins Nottinghamshire with a view to qualifying as an England player, having become frustrated with the quota selection system in South Africa.
2003: Averages more than 50 for the third season running but becomes disenchanted with his county employers and threatens to sue for unfair dismissal, even though relegated Nottinghamshire insist he has not been sacked.
2004: Remains a Nottinghamshire player and helps his team return to the top flight of the County Championship at the first attempt.
October: Quits Nottinghamshire for Hampshire.
2005: January - Joins the England squad for the ODI series against his native South Africa.
February - Registers maiden, unbeaten century with 108 in the second match in Bloemfontein. Scores further centuries in East London and Centurion.
Becomes the fastest man in history to reach 500 one-day international runs.
2005: July 14 - Named in England Test squad ahead of Graham Thorpe.
July 24 - Scores 57 and 64 on debut but Australia crush England by 239 runs.
September 12 - Scores century to rescue England, who claim the Ashes with a draw in the final Test at The Oval.
2006: March - Equals Viv Richards' record of 21 innings to reach 1,000 ODI runs.
2007: January - England's best player in the 2006-07 Ashes in Australia, scoring 490 runs and averaging over 50.
April: Scores 104 against Australia, England's first World Cup century since 1996. Adds 100 from 91 balls against the West Indies.
May: Posts his highest score of 226 in the second Test against the West Indies at Headingley.
2008: June - Uses the innovative 'switch hit' to hit New Zealand's Scott Styris for two sixes. Appointed temporary ODI captain after Paul Collingwood is suspended for four matches.
August 3 - Replaces Michael Vaughan as Test captain and Collingwood as one-day skipper.
August 8 - Scores century in debut innings as Test captain.
2009: January 7 - Resigns as England captain following reports of a rift with coach Peter Moores.
2010: April-May - Makes an unbeaten 73 against Pakistan and 47 in the final victory over Australia as England win the ICC World Twenty20.
June 17 - Announces he will not be renewing his Hampshire contract.
June 22 - Plays his 100th ODI against Australia.
August 31 - Writes on Twitter that he is to be dropped from England's limited-overs matches against Pakistan and has signed for Surrey.
November 2010-January 2011 - On top form in England's Ashes series win in Australia, with the highlight a career-best 227 in Adelaide.
2011: March 7 - Injury forces him out of England's World Cup campaign.
2012: May 31 - Retires from one-day and Twenty20 internationals.
July 9 - Admits he still harbours hope of playing limited-overs cricket for England again.
July 14 - Reveals he would "love to play for another three or four years in all forms of cricket''.
August 6 - After scoring 149 in the first innings of the second Test against South Africa, casts doubt on his Test future, claiming "obstacles'' must be overcome in order for him to continue beyond the third Test at Lord's.
August 11 - Pietersen says he "wants to commit to all forms of cricket for England'' in a video posted on YouTube.
August 12 - Left out for the third Test against South Africa.
August 15 - The ECB confirm they have received an apology from Pietersen and an admission he sent "provocative'' text messages to members of the South African team. Pietersen says: "I truly didn't mean to cause upset or tension, particularly with important games at stake.''
August 21 - Left out of England squads for the limited-overs series against South Africa and September's World Twenty20.
September 7 - Not among a 10-man list of players the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed had been given a central contract for the 2012-13 season.
September 18: Left out of the Test squad to tour India after much speculation about his potential selection.
October 3: The ECB confirm the process has begun for Pietersen to be re-integrated into the England team, starting with the signing of a new central contract. He apologises to Andrew Strauss for "recent controversies'' and admits sending "provocative'' BBM messages to members of the South African touring party.
October 18: Added to England's Test squad for tour of India.
November 24-25: Makes 186 in the second Test against India.
December: Finishes series, which England win 2-1, with 338 runs at an average of 48.28.
2013: January 9: Signs a full central contract with the ECB to finalise his return to the national set-up.
March 20: Ruled out of the final Test in New Zealand due to a knee injury.
April 16: Misses the home Test series against New Zealand as he needs more time to recover from knee injury.