Pietersen targets England return

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Watch the exclusive interview with Kevin Pietersen at The Kia Oval

Kevin Pietersen has confirmed he is still aiming to be fit for England’s first Test against Sri Lanka this summer after undergoing surgery on the hernia that forced him to make an early exit from the World Cup.

Pietersen went under the knife on March 15 after being withdrawn from England’s squad following their group game against South Africa in Chennai.

It was discovered that the batsman actually had a double hernia, but he still expects to be back to full fitness ahead of the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Cardiff, which gets underway on May 26.

“I’m feeling ok; the operation did go real well,” Pietersen told ecb.co.uk. “I had to wait some time to let the surgery settle down and the scars to get themselves sorted and the wound to go ok, and it’s just a process now of looking after the rehabilitation to make sure that’s a success so that I’m back as soon as I can be.

“Nothing has changed since the press release went out (following his surgery) - I’m looking to get back for the first Test match.

“That’s my goal. Hopefully the rehabilitation process goes smoothly and I don’t have any hiccups like the last time with my Achilles. Positive thinking: things are going to go well and I’ll be fine for the first Test.”

Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen is confident he can feature in England's first Test against Sri Lanka following successful hernia surgery last month

Pietersen admits it was difficult for him to pull out of England’s World Cup squad, but insists he had no alternative.

“It was ridiculously hard, but against South Africa I just couldn’t run any more,” he explained. “I thought I just had one hernia, which I knew about on the left-hand side, but it turned out I had a double hernia when the surgeon opened me up.

"So it’s no surprise I couldn’t run, it’s no surprise I was in that amount of pain and it’s no surprise that the painkillers weren’t working!”

Pietersen was speaking at Surrey’s pre-season press day at the Kia Oval, where he was able to meet up with his team-mates ahead of the new campaign.

“I’ve brought a little trip in here to come and see the lads and turn up for a day which I think is something that needs to be done,” he said.

“You want to be included in all of the pictures; you don’t want to be one of the people on the sides with the head and shoulders.

“It’s nice to be around the lads. It’s a promising squad and the boys look injury-free apart from Ramps (Mark Ramprakash, who damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in November). The sooner he gets better, the better for the team.

“Obviously if I was fully fit I’d be on a plane back to India for the IPL, which I’m really going to miss. It’s an amazing tournament and it would have been a great lead-up into the Test series here, playing international class cricket.

“That’s a bit of a pity, but it’s lovely to be home, it’s lovely to be in my own bed, finally, lovely to be with the family and my little boy, so it’s great stuff.”