Kevin Pietersen’s participation in this summer’s Ashes series has been put into question as England are still unsure as to whether he will be fully recovered from his knee injury in time for the First Test which starts on July 10.
Pietersen bruised a bone behind his right knee during the Tour of New Zealand in March, and has subsequently missed out on the return series in England which sees the hosts leading 1-0. The South African-born batsman has also missed out on the Indian Premier League, as well as the start of the new season with his county Surrey.
Having been seen in a leg brace for several weeks, he was not required to need surgery, and he joined his England teammates in the Lords dressing room after their 170-run victory on Saturday in the first Test of a two-match series.
England bowling coach David Saker spoke to him while he was at the home of cricket, and he later explained that no one can be sure of whether the injury will be healed in time.
“I just asked him if he thought he would be all right, and he said he thinks he will,” said Saker. “It was probably the only answer he could give. He doesn't know - and until he knows he can run around and it doesn't flare up he can't have an answer on that.
"He hopes he will be ready. He was really excited about getting ready for the Ashes, but he said he is still not sure."
After a secondary scan on his knee last month, Pietersen was ruled out of the Champions Trophy which is due to start on June 6, and it has raised concerns that he still won’t be fully fit for the July start of the Ashes.
Pieterson disputed claims that he will make his comeback in a match for Surrey on June 12, and Saker believes that the medical team will ensure his return is at the right time.
"I think the medical staff are on top of that," continued Saker. "It would be great to get him back for the Ashes. He is a special player. It was good to see him in the changing rooms, and he is really up for being a part (of the team) again. We hope we can get him there [to the Ashes].
"He was mixing with the guys. Players do sometimes think twice about coming in when they are injured.
"For us it is a sacred place - but for guys that are a big part of the team, we should always open our arms for them."