England batsman Kevin Pietersen says it is a 'great feeling' to be fit again following three months on the sidelines, as he prepares to make a long-awaited return to international cricket this week.

The 32-year-old saw his tour of New Zealand curtailed in March after he suffered severe bruising to his knee, which also led Pietersen to miss the return series, as well as the Champions Trophy.

There had been fears Pietersen would not recover in time for the Ashes, which begins at Trent Bridge on July 10, but the former England captain is on schedule having come through a four-day match with Surrey.

Pietersen spent 136 overs in the field, even bowling some off-spin, against Yorkshire before crashing an unbeaten 177 in his first innings since facing New Zealand in Wellington earlier this year.

The Surrey star now joins up with his international teammates for two T20s against the Kiwis, although Pietersen will sit out of the first encounter on Tuesday, with his England return set for Thursday.

Pietersen is feeling in fine fettle following his exertions with his county, and has thanked those to offer him well wishes as he bids to star for England ahead of another eagerly-awaited Ashes summer.

He tweeted: "Such a great feeling being fit again. Can’t thank everyone enough for the support!"

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