Kevin Pietersen needs 'significant rest', says coach Andy Flower

Kevin Pietersen needs "significant rest" to recover from a knee injury, according to England coach Andy Flower.

Pietersen missed England's third Test against New Zealand, as England battled to draw the series 0-0.

He has also withdrawn from next month's Indian Premier League, where he was due to play with the Delhi Daredevils.

England's hectic schedule

Month Opponent / competition Format Matches

May

New Zealand

Test

Two

May

New Zealand

ODI

Three

June

Champions Trophy

ODI

Three*

June

New Zealand

T20

Two

July - August

Australia

Test

Five

August

Australia

T20

Two

September

Australia

ODI

Five

November - January

Australia (A)

Test

Five

* England will play a minimum of three matches in the Champions Trophy, but this could increase to five if they reach the final.

"Kevin has had a further scan and it confirms a bone injury and bone bruising that will need significant rest," said Flower.

"He has been put in a brace and will have to have it on for a couple of weeks. He's then got to rest for a couple of weeks and then begin his physical rehabilitation."

Flower has said his side need to improve on their recent performances and England face a busy summer with the first Test against New Zealand beginning on 16 May at Lord's.

Following that two-Test series, England host the Champions Trophy tournament and then compete in a five-Test Ashes series against Australia before travelling down under in the winter.

Surrey player Pietersen first experienced knee pain while fielding in the warm-up match in Queenstown at the start of the month. The problem failed to go away and he spent time off the field during the drawn first Test in Dunedin.

He scored a duck and 12 in the first Test, but recovered with 73 in his only innings in the drawn second Test in Wellington.

Spinner Graeme Swann also missed England's tour of New Zealand with an elbow injury, although Flower was confident both Swann and Pietersen would play a vital role for their country during 2013.

"Swann's operation was successful and relatively simple," added Flower. "We are hoping he will rehabilitate his arm and his entire body ready for the challenges ahead.

"I would imagine, well hope, they'll both be fit and firing in the summer."