Pietersen on schedule to be fit for Sri Lanka series

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Kevin Pietersen is expected to be fit for the start of the Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins on 26 May, after confirming yesterday's hernia operation was successful. The batsman left England's World Cup campaign early after saying he could no longer play through the pain of a long-term problem.

Pietersen, who was replaced in the squad by Eoin Morgan, will now recuperate in the UK before beginning a period of rehabilitation with his county side Surrey, aided by the guidance of the England medical team. He is expected to miss the entirety of his $650,000 (£404,000) contract with the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League. Coach Andy Flower would be less than impressed if he was to appear in the IPL, especially after reports Flower was disappointed Pietersen chose not to play through his injury at the World Cup.

England and Wales Cricket Board chief medical officer Dr Nick Peirce said: "Kevin underwent a successful, routine operation with a hernia and an area of weaknesses repaired on the left side, while a small hernia was identified and repaired on the right side.

"His return to first-class cricket will be determined once he commences his rehabilitation but we expect him to be fully fit in time for England's first summer Test."

Peter Loader, the former Surrey and England fast bowler, has died aged 81. He played 13 Tests for England, taking 39 wickets at an average of just 22.51. He took a total of 1,326 wickets at first-class level between 1951 and 1964. Loader is best remembered for taking England's first post-war hat-trick en route to claiming his Test best figures of six for 36 against the West Indies in 1957.