England skipper Andrew Strauss does not anticipate a quick return to the side for dropped batsman Kevin Pietersen.
Pietersen, a veteran of 88 Tests, was left out of the squad for the series decider against South Africa at Lord's, starting at Thursday, after failing to reveal the content of text messages he sent to members of the touring team during the drawn second Test at Headingley.
He has since apologised to his employers at the England and Wales Cricket Board for sending what he described as "provocative texts to my close friends in the South Africa team".
The ECB plan further talks with Pietersen to determine when, or if, he will be able to make a comeback in England colours.
And Strauss, who is preparing for his 100th Test at Lord's, thinks it will be a lengthy process for Pietersen to regain his standing in the dressing room.
"A lot has happened over the last seven days," Strauss said. "The England cricket team has been in the news for the wrong reasons.
"We all want to move forward but there are some ongoing issues regarding trust and mutual respect that don't get dealt with overnight and it's going to take quite a long time to overcome those.
"My personal point of view is I prefer those issues to be dealt with in private, away from the media without the help of PR companies and press releases."
He added: "Who knows what's going to happen in the future? It's a bit of a process that we all have to go through.
"I'm not willing to state one way or another whether it's going to be possible or impossible (for Pietersen to make England return)."
However, the England captain revealed he has been in contact with Pietersen over a number of points this week and insists that the text message saga is just one issue.
"It's a broader issue than just the text messages," Strauss said. "It's not between me and him, particularly. The text messages sound like I was involved in it but it's a broader issue.
"It's about the team and Kevin and how we interact with each other. I spoke to him over the course of the last week over a number of issues.
"I don't think it's been a great week for English cricket and that annoys me, quite frankly, because part of my job is to paint English cricket in a good light so I feel frustrated by that.
"But out of everything, good can come out of it. It's important that whatever the resolution of this issue is, English cricket comes out of it better than it is at the moment."
Strauss is now keen to put the matter to bed for the next week so England can focus on the task of beating South Africa in order to maintain their position at the top of the International Cricket Council Test rankings.
"It's very important that I concentrate on what my job is which is leading the guys out there on the field," he added.
"I wasn't involved in Kevin Pietersen's dispute with the board in any real way but once the players got involved it was very important that I got involved for the very reason the feelings in the dressing room, the way the players interact with each other, the values that we have as a group are of vital importance to me and I'm not willing to turn a blind eye to that."
Should Kevin Pietersen have a future as an England player?