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Pietersen poised for Sydney action

Kevin Pietersen is set to play in England’s final Ashes warm-up game despite undergoing a scan and a cortisone injection on his right knee.

The 33-year-old, who endured a lay-off due to knee trouble earlier this year, flew to Melbourne this morning for the treatment after feeling discomfort at the start of this week’s rain-ruined game against Australia A in Hobart.

But England team director Andy Flower is confident that Pietersen will be ready to face an Australia Invitational XI in Sydney on Wednesday as the tourists fine-tune their preparations for the first Test in Brisbane from November 21.

"Kevin has had a slight recurrence of that knee issue,” he said.

"I don't think it's going to be a huge issue. He's had a couple of these injections before, and they've been successful.

"They've quietened the problem down and we anticipate this one being successful and anticipate him playing a full part in the Ashes tour."

"He felt it in the first day (against Australia A), I think. We anticipate him playing in the Sydney game.

"We're doing the jab, so he's got a little bit of time for the jab to work before we train on Tuesday."

Flower was similarly optimistic over Matt Prior’s prospects of taking part in the series opener after the wicketkeeper-batsman was troubled by a tight calf in Hobart.

In the event of Prior proving his fitness in time, Flower revealed the batting line-up that plays at the SCG is likely to be the top seven that takes to the field at the Gabba eight days later.

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