London:England's Ashes hopes were on Wednesday dealt a body blow after batting mainstay Kevin Pietersen was ruled out of the remainder of the series following a surgery on his Achilles tendon injury.
Pietersen was assessed by a specialist who recommended the surgery, which rules him out of all cricket for up to six weeks, thus drawing curtains on his Ashes campaign.
"The operation involved a small incision and trimming of the blood vessels and nerves around the inflamed tendon and appears, at this early stage, to have been routine," ECB chief medical officer Nick Peirce said.
"Kevin will look to undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure there is no risk of recurrence. This is expected to be approximately six weeks but will be taken at an appropriate pace following constant review," he added.
Pietersen needed four injections to take to the field for the second Test which England won at Lord's but situation worsened further and the star batsman is currently unable to run or even walk comfortably, Pierce said.
"He had a strong desire to get through the Ashes series but despite this he has recently been unable to achieve a maximum level of performance," Pierce added.
Pietersen himself was devastated after being told that he would miss the ongoing five - match series which England is leading 1-0.
"As an England cricketer the Ashes are the pinnacle of the game, so I'm absolutely devastated to be missing the rest of this series," Pietersen said.
"I hate missing matches for England and especially during an Ashes summer but now that the decision has been made to undergo surgery I'm confident I can return to the England team injury-free following a course of rehabilitation," he said.
"To leave a winning dressing room at this time is heart breaking but it wouldn't be fair to the team or myself to continue given the severity of the injury.
"I'll be supporting the team closely and wish them the best of luck as they look to build on the brilliant win at Lord's and reclaim the Ashes," added the former captain.