Kevin Pietersen ruled out of third Test with New Zealand in Auckland
Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the third Test with New Zealand in Auckland, and the IPL, due to a knee injury.
Last Updated: 20/03/13 11:36am
Pietersen will be unable to play any cricket for between six to eight weeks which means he will also miss the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League.
The England camp say he has "possible cartilage damage", which has been an issue since the warm-up match in Queenstown.
Pietersen will attempt to regain fitness in time for the home series with New Zealand which starts on May 16 at Lord's but England will be more concerned about him being match-fit and in form for the Ashes.
Jonny Bairstow, the Yorkshire batsman, is likely to come into the side at Eden Park if England go for a like-for-like batting replacement.
Ian Bell will probably move up a place to No 4 in the batting order, with Bairstow and Joe Root to follow.
Another option for the selectors is to add another bowling option with Chris Woakes - a capable lower order batsman - a possibility.
A statement from the ECB said: "England and Surrey batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the remaining Test against New Zealand commencing Friday March 22 due to an injury to his right knee.
"Pietersen experienced knee pain while fielding in preparation for the four-day game in Queenstown earlier this month, ahead of the Test series. This has failed to resolve satisfactorily.
"Recent scans confirm an injury to the right knee with bone bruising and possible cartilage damage to the kneecap.
"The 32-year-old will return to the UK for further investigations and specialist review.
"The injury is likely to require ongoing assessments and a likely six-eight week period of rest and rehabilitation.
"Pietersen has therefore been withdrawn from all cricket including the Indian Premier League."