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Page last updated at 20:03 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 21:03 UK

Pietersen to play through injury

ICC WORLD TWENTY20
Venues: Lord's, The Oval, Trent Bridge Date: 5-21 June
Coverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Radio 4 LW, Red Button and online, with live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Live TV coverage on Sky Sports with highlights on BBC


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England can win without Flintoff - Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen will seek to play a full part in the ICC World Twenty20 for England even though he has not fully recovered from his Achilles problem.

Pietersen missed the one-day series win over West Indies but returns for England in the tournament opener on Friday, against Netherlands at Lord's.

England warm up for that by playing Scotland at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

Pietersen said: "The only thing that is restricted is my running. I've really got to ease back into my running."

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen has been arriving in style for England's net sessions

The key batsman's right ankle has been closely inspected by former athletics coach Mark Young, now employed by the England and Wales Cricket Board's as its head of physiotherapy.

Young previously worked with top athletes including Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt.

"He said this Achilles injury is something he had seen on a daily basis in athletics so he could diagnose it and see what the problem was straight away," revealed Pietersen.

"He has put me on balancing boards to make sure my balance is right. I have had to close my eyes to make sure my balance is right and really start thinking about my feet.

"Standing on the balance board for the first time, I was like a clown and I was all over the place, but I'm now not too bad and can balance for 30 seconds with my eyes closed."

Young has informed Pietersen he is still two weeks away from road running, which has formed an integral part of his fitness programme in recent years and is thought to have caused the current problem during his time in the Caribbean in the winter.

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BBC Sport's Mihir Bose

Pietersen said he would have to be careful when he returned to his usual fitness regime.

"It would be stupid for me to do what I'd do normally, which is a 40 to 60-minute run. It's a natural progression of putting weight through the tendon and not hurting it and getting myself comfortable enough so that in a couple of weeks I'm able to run."

Although Pietersen's return will boost England's chances, they are not considered among the tournament favourites.

India and South Africa, whose players have played regularly in the Indian Premier League in the last two years, are tipped to be the teams to beat.

England have won seven of their 15 Twenty20 internationals and Pietersen said: "I figure the only way to improve is to play more Twenty20 cricket.

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen will have to adapt his normal fitness routine to protect his Achilles

"There is talk about a second IPL, the Champions League, these are the kind of tournaments all the players around the world are playing in and they are fundamental in making England players better Twenty20 players.

"England have never won a world tournament so this is huge for us and we're taking it very seriously.

"But I think a lot of us are behind the Indian players and the South Africans because we haven't played as much T20 cricket so we're going to have to be on our ball but we can beat them."

Off-spinner Graeme Swann took no part in England's practice on Monday at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough because of a stiff back, but is expected to be fit to face Scotland on Tuesday.



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see also
Pietersen out of one-day series
20 May 09 |  England
Ireland and Aussies win warm-ups
01 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 warm-up photos
01 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 ones to watch
31 May 09 |  Cricket
Collingwood confident of success
31 May 09 |  Cricket
Hamilton plays down Twenty20 row
02 Jun 09 |  Scotland
India given Zaheer fitness boost
29 May 09 |  India
ICC World Twenty20 2009 results
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 squads
10 Jun 09 |  Cricket


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