Pietersen joins up with England

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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen is thrilled to be back in England colours after today joining up with the rest of his team-mates in Johannesburg.

The Hampshire batsman belatedly arrived for the two-and-a-half-month tour to South Africa yesterday, having spent more than three months on the sidelines recuperating from surgery to his right Achilles tendon.

The England team travelled from Bloemfontein only this morning after completing their warm-up programme with a four-wicket loss to South Africa A last night before the opening Twenty20 international on Friday.

"I'm excited to see the guys again today, to go down to the Wanderers and have my first outdoor net since July - I feel really good and really excited," he said.

"It's great to be out here and great to putting an England tracksuit on again."

Despite his arrival before the internationals, Pietersen will not feature in either of the two 20-over meetings with the Proteas this weekend but has set his sights on a return to action in the first one-day match next Friday.

He added: "I'm looking at playing the warm-up game on Tuesday next week at Potchefstroom and then, I hope, the first one-day international.

"But we'll just see how this next week goes. I'm certainly not going to rush things - I tried that a while back. So that's the plan, and I feel good for it at the moment."