Star England batsman Kevin Pietersen will undergo hernia surgery after the World Cup and will miss the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL).
But an England team spokesman said he would continue to play in the ongoing showpiece tournament taking place in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Pietersen, set to face his native South Africa in a World Cup match in Chennai on Sunday, will have treatment and rehabilitation lasting at least six weeks, coinciding with the IPL, which starts next month.
He has previously enjoyed success in India with Bangalore’s Royal Challengers and was due to earn around $650,000 (£400,000) playing for IPL side the Deccan Chargers this season.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) expect Pietersen to be fit in time for the first Test of the English season, against Sri Lanka in Cardiff starting on May 26.
Pietersen’s injury was confirmed upon his return to Britain after the recent one-day series in Australia, which followed their Ashes triumph.
“Following an MRI scan on return to the UK after the Australia ODI series a diagnosis of a hernia was established,” ECB chief medical officer Dr Nicholas Peirce said in a statement.
“The nature of the injury is such that it can be managed for the duration of the World Cup.
“As the symptoms have been getting worse a decision has now been made that the appropriate course of action is for Kevin to undergo a routine operation upon his return to the UK after England’s World Cup campaign.
“Kevin will continue to be managed throughout the World Cup and we would expect him to make a full recovery following a recuperation and rehabilitation period of approximately six weeks after the operation.”
Pietersen said: “I’m obviously extremely disappointed to have picked up this hernia injury but I’ve been able to manage it so far throughout the World Cup and will continue to do so under the guidance of the England medical staff.
“It will no doubt impact my preparation but careful management should see me still play a significant role in the team’s campaign.
“Representing England in a World Cup is something I’ve been looking forward to for the past four years and I’m excited by the prospect of helping the team achieve something special here on the sub-continent against the best teams in the world.
“I’m bitterly disappointed to be missing the IPL but can take comfort from the fact that I will be fit for the start of a very exciting English summer against Sri Lanka and India.”
Pietersen is one of several injury concerns for the team heading into the match against group leaders South Africa that follows England’s shock loss to Ireland.
All-rounder Paul Collingwood and star off-spinner Graeme Swann are nursing knee and groin problems respectively.
Pietersen has made 39, 31 and 59 in England’s three World Cup games so far after being given a new role as an opening batsman.