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Pietersen still unsure over Ashes start

ESPN staff
May 21, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Kevin Pietersen has a knee problem © Getty Images
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England still do not know if Kevin Pietersen will be fit for the first Ashes Test as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, although the player hopes to be ready for the Trent Bridge opener.

Currently locked in an intriguing series with New Zealand, which they lead 1-0, England already have one eye on the start of the Ashes this summer. The first Test - which commences on July 10 - is now only seven weeks away.

Pietersen remains sidelined by a knee problem that saw him last play competitive cricket in March. He had bone bruising behind his right knee and recovery has been slow.

David Saker, England's bowling coach, gave an update on Pietersen's situation on Monday, although there was little he could say. No clear date has been set for the batsman's return, and the Ashes are beginning to become a concern.

"I just asked him if he thought he would be all right, and he said he thinks he will. It was probably the only answer he could give," Saker said.

"He doesn't know - and until he knows he can run around and it doesn't flare up he can't have an answer on that.

"He hopes he will be ready. He was really excited about getting ready for the Ashes, but he said he is still not sure."

Pietersen's plan is still to resume full training mid-June, and he was in attendance for the fourth and climactic day to England's first-Test win over New Zealand. Saker admitted the player's presence was a boost.

"It was good to see him in the changing rooms, and he is really up for being a part [of the team] again," Saker said.

"We hope we can get him there [to the Ashes]. It was good to see him in there. He was mixing with the guys. Players do sometimes think twice about coming in when they are injured.

"For us it is a sacred place - but for guys that are a big part of the team, we should always open our arms for them."

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