London: England batsman Kevin Pietersen will miss the Champions Trophy in June after making a slower-than-expected recovery from a knee injury.
However, England said on Wednesday that Pietersen to be back in full training by the "middle of June," making him available for the Ashes series against Australia that starts on July 10.
A repeat MRI scan on Pietersen's injured right knee "has shown some improvement in the bruising to the bone," according to the England and Wales Cricket Board. But it won't have healed sufficiently for him to feature in the Champions Trophy, which begins on June 6.
Pietersen had already been ruled out of the two-test series against New Zealand in May and will miss the three-match one-day series against the same opposition beginning May 31.
The South African-born batsman first experienced pain in his knee last month while fielding in a warm-up match in Queenstown during England's tour of New Zealand. He played through the pain in the first two tests but flew home before the third test for further investigation and was ruled out for six to eight weeks.
"Pietersen will now start a graduated rehabilitation program," the ECB said, "with a view to resuming full training by the middle of June."