Boss hoped KP would 'bite bullet'
Star batsman unable to play on through the pain
Last Updated: March 8, 2011 9:43am
Pietersen: in pain
England coach Andy Flower admits he had hoped Kevin Pietersen would "take painkillers when needed and bite the bullet" to play on in the World Cup.
"He wasn't going to tear anything so we hoped he would get through the tournament okay, take painkillers when needed and bite the bullet."
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England's star batsman has flown home from the World Cup after revealing on Saturday that he would be having surgery on a hernia problem after the competition.
Pietersen had originally planned to play through the pain for the duration of England's campaign in the tournament.
Flower told The Daily Mail: "The timing is not ideal because we are in the middle of the World Cup.
"We had very clear medical advice that this hernia problem Kevin's got wouldn't get significantly worse and he was at no risk of damaging himself further.
"He wasn't going to tear anything so we hoped he would get through the tournament okay, take painkillers when needed and bite the bullet.
"Kevin says it has got worse, pain-wise, and he can't carry on playing like this. So it was a pretty simple decision to replace him.
"I empathise with anyone with a serious injury. You never know exactly what they're feeling, so you've got to listen to what they're saying.
Eoin Morgan, himself replaced in England's World Cup squad last month because of a broken finger, has been called up as Pietersen's replacement.
The absence of Pietersen means England captain Andrew Strauss needs another opening partner for the remainder of the tournament, starting on Friday with the Group B game against Bangladesh in Chittagong.
"We've got a number of potential openers," added Flower. "We're not going to let you or the opposition know who it's going to be, but we've got a clear idea of who we want for the game against Bangladesh.
"I don't think it does have to be the same for the rest of the tournament because opening against Bangladesh [on Friday] requires a different set of skills from opening against Australia."