England batsman Kevin Pietersen will miss the two Test series with New Zealand next month as he continues to overcome a serious knee injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board have confirmed.
The 32-year-old missed the final Test in the reverse fixture against the Black Caps in April owing to the same problem, and now sit out the first five-day matches of England's international summer.
Pietersen suffered severe bone bruising to his right knee in New Zealand and, posting on his official Facebook page, the Surrey star revealed his frustration at not being able to return to action.
He said: "Injuries are a sportsman's worst nightmare! This one is hurting me the most."
Pietersen's current ailment also forced him to skip this year's Indian Premier League and, it is hope, and extended period of rest will enable the England No.4 to return fully fit for the busy 2013 schedule.
Following the series against New Zealand, England host the Champions Trophy before contesting the Ashes with Australia - starting in July - and travelling down under to complete back-to-back series against Michael Clarke's side.
England begin the away Ashes series on November 21 in Brisbane, with the final of the five Tests due to take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January.