England were today rocked by the news that Kevin Pietersen is out of the remainder of the Ashes.
Pietersen, 29, has been ruled out of action for six weeks following an operation on his Achilles tendon.
After being assessed by a leading specialist earlier today it was decided that surgery was the best option.
Pietersen said: "I'm absolutely devastated to be missing the rest of this series.
"Up until now the Achilles injury has been manageable but it recently reached the point where we needed to look at other options in terms of treatment."
Pietersen first incurred the discomfort earlier this summer and sat out the one-day series against the West Indies to recuperate. But the combination of rest and painkilling injections could not get him through English cricket's premier series.
"Following a consultation, involving scans and testing, with the world's leading Achilles specialist, Kevin Pietersen today underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon," confirmed England and Wales Cricket Board chief medical officer Nick Peirce.
"The operation involved a small incision and trimming of the blood vessels and nerves around the inflamed tendon and appears, at this early stage, to have been routine.
"Kevin will look to undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure there is no risk of recurrence. This is expected to be approximately six weeks but will be taken at an appropriate pace following constant review."