Calcutta/London: Kevin Pietersen had a precautionary scan on his right knee on Wednesday as part of an ongoing monitoring process following the bone-bruising injury that occurred in February.
However, according to an England and Wales Cricket Board media release, Pietersen remains available for selection for the 5th Ashes Test. He will continue to receive treatment on his right knee as part of his rehabilitation programme over the course of remainder of the series and beyond.
On the Australian front, strike bowler Ryan Harris could be rested from the final Test as the Aussies begin preparations for the return Ashes series this winter.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann is ready to put the injury-prone 33-year-old into cotton wool after Australia conceded this summer’s series with a 74-run defeat at Chester-le-Street, on Monday.
Harris is Australia’s leading wicket-taker this summer, with 20 at an average of 19.25, but his body has never before allowed him to play four Tests in a row. “We’d love him to (play at the Oval). He’s exceptional,” he said. “He’s had three in a row. It would be good if he gets four in a row.
“But if there’s any doubt of not getting through, he won’t play. To be perfectly honest the way the scenario is now we’ll be extra careful with him. We’ve got to make sure he’s right for the next Test series as well. He’s so valuable to us as we’ve seen in the previous few games.”
Harris reported he was feeling fit and well during the fourth Test at Durham, when his career-best figures of seven for 113 in the second innings gave his side hope of victory.
An early end in Chester-le-Street and an eight-day turnaround between Tests should aid Harris’ recovery, while a desire not to become the first Australian side to lose 4-0 in England may force the visitors’ hand. “The extra day off probably helps him a week before the next game,” Lehmann said.
“I just reckon he’s outstanding in what he gives to the team and the way he bowls and he just gets good players out.”