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Star England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of next month's home Test series with New Zealand due to a knee injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old had already been ruled out of the final Test match away to New Zealand due to the persistent problem in his right knee.
He was originally expected to miss six to eight weeks and has now been discounted from the two-match series.
"@kevinpp24 (Pietersen) has been ruled out of the Investec Test series vs @BLACKCAPS (New Zealand) as he continues his recovery from bone bruising to his right knee," said the ECB on their @ECB_cricket Twitter feed.
"Pietersen will have a repeat scan next week to determine when he is able to resume training."
The flamboyant batsman said he was keeping his "fingers crossed" that he will return to fitness in time for England's defence of the Ashes against Australia, which begins at Trent Bridge on July 10.
Writing on Twitter, he said: "Injuries are a sportsman's worst nightmare! This one is hurting me the most.."
Responding to supportive messages from his followers, he said that he was "trying" to be fit for the Ashes series and had his "fingers crossed".
The Surrey and Delhi Daredevils right-hander first suffered pain in his knee during a warm-up game in New Zealand before the drawn away Test series in March.
The talented batsman was withdrawn from the 2013 Indian Premier League season, which takes place in April and May, due to the injury, which consists of bruising on the bone and cartilage damage in the kneecap.
The South African-born player only returned to the England fold in October following a controversial spat with ex-England captain Andrew Strauss.
He had been cast into international exile last August after sending text messages to touring South African players criticising then-captain Strauss.