KP: I’m certainly not going to rush things
Kevin Pietersen has arrived in South Africa feeling physically and mentally refreshed, but the England batsman insists he will not rush back into action as he takes his final steps towards full fitness, cricket365.com reported on its website on Nov. 11.
The 29-year-old has spent a large part of the last three months recuperating from surgery to his right Achilles tendon - an injury that forced him to miss the last three Tests of this summer’s Ashes.
But Pietersen, who sported customised trainers especially made to protect the injury, looked more than comfortable during an hour-long net session at The Wanderers.
The Hampshire batsman faced up to several net bowlers as well as spin coach Mushtaq Ahmed and also ran between the wickets, while there was even time to rehearse his now prominent switch-hit.
It was his first outdoor net session since July and after arriving for the two-and-a-half-month tour to his country of birth yesterday, he admits he is now raring to go.
"The fitness is not too bad," he said. "I’ve done some rigorous training over the last six weeks, I’ve done a lot of work at Lord’s in the last week before I flew out and I’m feeling good, I’m feeling fresh mentally.
"I had a bad day on my Achilles yesterday, but I think that was just purely down to the flight. I’ve woken up feeling really good.
"I’m certainly not going to rush things, I tried that a while back. I got an infection in the wound.
"I enjoyed the break to refresh my batteries, to get myself right and ready to know that I can compete again and want to compete again.
"But I hated getting injured because I wanted to continue playing to be a part of what was a successful summer. So that was where I was at, but now to be back in an England tracksuit is great."
Pietersen has endured a difficult year, which began with him as captain, a position he subsequently relinquished following spat with former coach Peter Moores.
He than had to endure the Achilles problem that forced him to miss out on the Ashes win before an infection caused more complications that caused him to miss the Champions Trophy.
But he is determined to leave that chapter behind him and embark on a new chapter.
"I think it’s common knowledge what got on top of me during the first half of the year, things that happened back in the UK and the pressure was just mounting up," he said.
"Anything I seemed to do seemed to be a mistake and it was a great test of character.
"I’ve just treated this break as something to get my head right, to get myself back in love with the game. "