Kevin Pietersen will have hernia surgery after England's World Cup campaign, ruling him out of this year's Indian Premier League.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said Saturday that the 30-year-old Pietersen was diagnosed with the injury after England's 6-1 series one-day loss in Australia, but that he should be able to continue playing as long as England remains in the World Cup.
"I'm obviously extremely disappointed to have picked up this hernia injury but I've been able to manage it so far throughout the World Cup and will continue to do so," Pietersen said. "It will no doubt impact my preparation but careful management should see me still play a significant role in the team's campaign."
But the six-week break for rehabilitation means Pietersen will be unable to play for the Deccan Chargers despite the team having paid $650,000 for him in the Twenty20 IPL auction.
"Representing England in a World Cup is something I've been looking forward to for the past four years," Pietersen said. "I'm bitterly disappointed to be missing the IPL but can take comfort from the fact that I will be fit for the start of a very exciting English summer against Sri Lanka and India."
England's first summer test against Sri Lanka starts May 26, outside the six-week recovery period even if England reaches the April 2 World Cup final.
Pietersen pulled out of at least one catch in training on Saturday as the team prepared for the following day's Group B match against South Africa, and appeared to run gingerly at times.
He has scored 39, 31 and 59 opening in England's three tournament matches so far.
"As the symptoms have been getting worse, a decision has now been made that the appropriate course of action is for Kevin to undergo a routine operation," ECB chief medical officer Nicholas Peirce said.