Pietersen to play through Achilles injury

Kevin Pietersen is preparing to play on with an Achilles injury which could flare up again and force him to miss important matches for England in their Ashes summer.

The former England captain returned from a recurrence of his injury problems to inspire Sunday's brilliant 48-run victory over Pakistan at The Oval, which secured the hosts' progress into the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 tournament.

But his on-going injury troubles, which have already forced him to miss the one-day series against West Indies and England's opening defeat of this tournament to Holland, remain a concern with the opening Ashes Test due to start in Cardiff in just over a month.

He had two days of treatment and an injection to ensure his participation against Pakistan, and England's medical staff now believe it may be connected to a back problem which could recur at any time.

But Pietersen remains confident of managing the situation, insisting: "I don't have any concerns. We have diagnosed what the problem is over the last couple of days, so hopefully now we've diagnosed what we think it is, I can get better now.

"Normally it flares up once or twice after a cortisone injection, and it's flared up once. And if it flares again it will be uncommon but it does happen, and in that case we'll just take more steps - there are more steps that we can take."

Pietersen has been advised that only a break of around two to three months - impossible with England's hectic schedule for the next couple of years - will completely cure it, but is resistant to that suggestion with so many major events coming up in the near future.

England face a one-day series against Australia immediately after the Ashes followed by the Champions Trophy tournament and a Test and one-day series in South Africa, leaving Pietersen and England with little room for manoeuvre.

"What cures is it is two or three months out of the game and that ain't happening - I'm not missing that," he insisted. "I didn't want to miss Friday and I certainly wasn't going to miss the game against Pakistan.

"I was going to play in that even if I was only 50% fit because I want to play for England. I love playing for England and I didn't want us to get knocked out of the tournament.

"It's always impossible to get a three or four-month break anyway - the only way to do that would be to tear a tendon or a hamstring or something like that."

He added: "It's a case of managing it on a daily basis now. I've played with injuries, I've played with broken ribs and the lot and it's a case of managing what you've got and trying to make sure it doesn't flare up.

"I'm frustrated as anybody because I hate missing any games of cricket. I love playing cricket for England, there's nothing better than playing for England and being in such a huge tournament here in the UK - it's huge."

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