Kevin Pietersen, seen batting here against New Zealand - the team he believes will win the upcoming World Cup - led Stars assistant coach Trent Woodhill to label him
Kevin Pietersen, seen batting here against New Zealand - the team he believes will win the upcoming World Cup - led Stars assistant coach Trent Woodhill to label him "the best under-25 talent I've seen" when he coached him 14 years ago. Gareth Copley / Getty Images

England's Pietersen to play ICC Champs in prep for Ashes

ENGLISH batsman Kevin Pietersen plans to return from a knee injury in the ICC Champions Trophy in June to ensure he is ready for the first Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge starting on July 10.

The 32-year-old withdrew from England's final Test in New Zealand three weeks ago because of what was described as bone bruising in his right knee.

An updated medical bulletin issued this week upgraded the problem to "significant bone bruising", which seemed to suggest his injury had either been aggravated during his rest, or was worse than initially suggested.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said Pietersen would have scans next week to determine when he could resume training.

The controversial batsman heightened concerns the situation was worse than thought by publishing photos of the joint in question on Twitter, and posting: "Injuries are a sportsman's worst nightmare! This one is hurting me the most."

England's preparation for the Ashes will consist of a two-Test series at home against New Zealand next month, followed by three ODIs and two T20s against the Kiwis, as well as the Champions Trophy.



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