England's hopes of winning back the Ashes were dealt a serious blow on Wednesday when Kevin Pietersen was ruled out of the rest of the series.
The 29-year-old had surgery on the Achilles tendon injury that hampered him during the second Test and has been ruled out of all cricket for six weeks.
“Following a consultation, involving scans and testing, with the world's leading Achilles specialist, Kevin Pietersen on Wednesday underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon,” the England and Wales Cricket Board's chief medical officer Nick Peirce said in a statement.
“Kevin will look to undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure there is no risk of recurrence. This is expected to be approximately six weeks,” he said.
“As an England cricketer the Ashes are the pinnacle, so I'm absolutely devastated to be missing the rest of this series,” Pietersen said.
'We can win without KP and Freddie'
England team director Andy Flower said that his team could win the Ashes even without Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff.
While Pietersen has been ruled out of the series, medical staff will assess Flintoff ahead of next week's third Test.
“When asked before the series whether we believed we could win the series, I said yes. Whether we will or not, we don't know. We're going to have to play very good cricket,” Flower said.
Flintoff may need artificial knee
Andrew Flintoff's chronic knee injury, if not managed with care, could end up with the allrounder needing an artificial joint within 20 years, a leading knee surgeon has claimed.
Derek Bickerstaff, who has operated on Simon Jones and Michael Vaughan, said: “The nature of the injury is that it waxes and wanes. All credit to the medical staff who did some injection therapy to reduce the inflammation.” “I know everybody will be disappointed if Flintoff breaks down again, but he only has to catch that sore area the wrong way and it will start to become badly irritated. He will be in most danger when fielding.”