MANCHESTER, England (AP) — England batsman Kevin Pietersen says he decided against surgery on his right knee that could have kept him sidelined for nine months so he could play in back-to-back Ashes series this year.

Pietersen injured his knee during the tour of New Zealand in March and only returned to action in June, just in time for the Ashes against Australia.

The South African-born batsman says "I didn't have surgery because I didn't want to miss the Ashes. I could have done but it's proved to be the right decision from the surgeon's perspective and mine."

Pietersen says he will be "in rehab for the rest of my career, unfortunately" but shouldn't need an operation on his knee "if I keep being as professional as I have been over the last 3 ½ months."

He showed his worth to England by hitting 113 Saturday on the third day of the third test against Australia, giving the team renewed hope of a draw that would clinch a third straight Ashes urn.

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