Kevin Pietersen out of England v New Zealand Test series

England batsman Kevin Pietersen

Batsman Kevin Pietersen will miss England's two-Test series against New Zealand in May with a knee injury.

The 32-year-old did not play in last month's final Test against the Black Caps in Auckland because of the injury.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said Pietersen will have a scan next week to determine when he can resume training.

Pietersen tweeted: "Injuries are a sportsman's worst nightmare! This one is hurting me the most."

The ECB said in a statement: "England and Surrey batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the upcoming Investec Test series against New Zealand as he continues his recovery from significant bone bruising to his right knee."

The first Test against New Zealand begins on 16 May at Lord's.

England coach Andy Flower said recently that Pietersen needed "significant rest" in order to be fully fit for a busy 2013 schedule.

Following the two-Test series, England host the Champions Trophy tournament and then compete in a five-Test Ashes series against Australia, which gets under way on 10 July at Trent Bridge.

England then travel to Australia for another Ashes series, which runs from 21 November until 7 January 2014.

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.

He flew home before the third Test for further investigation into his injury as Jonny Bairstow came into the England side as his replacement.

Following a meeting with a specialist and undergoing a scan, Pietersen's knee was put in a brace on 27 March.

It is understood, he was to spend two weeks wearing the brace before a similar period of rest ahead of returning to training.

However, Pietersen will continue with the brace for at least an extra week after the batsman continued to experience significant pain from his knee.

He will undergo another scan at the end of next week when it is hoped a clearer picture of his absence will emerge.

Former England captain and Test Match Special summariser Michael Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live: "England have managed it right - it gives an opportunity for someone like Jonny Bairstow. It gives other players opportunities, but it's so important that Kevin Pietersen is right for that Ashes series.

"He's still the player that I believe can change a game within a three-hour period, he's still the player that England miss the most, particularly in that batting line-up".

Pietersen endured an up-and-down 2012 in which he retired from one-day and Twenty20 internationals before hinting on 6 August that he was considering retiring from Test cricket.

Five days later he said he wanted to commit to all forms of cricket for England in a video posted on YouTube but was subsequently dropped for the third Test against South Africa for sending "provocative texts" about team-mates to opposition players.

Pietersen was then left out of the England squad for the World Twenty20 before being omitted from the England Test squad for the winter tour of India.

However, he signed a new four-month England contract in October, although was told to undergo a "reintegration" period before returning the team.

Later that month, Pietersen was included in the England squad for the tour of India and produced a man-of-the match performance in the second Test, making 186 runs. England won the series 2-1, with Pietersen finishing with 338 runs at an average of 48.28.

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