ENGLAND batsman Kevin Pietersen insists he is still hopeful of playing a part in the tour of South Africa in November.<br /><br />Pietersen has been ruled out of the Champions Trophy, which takes place in the same country from next week. <br /><br />But he is optimistic the Achilles injury that also kept him out of the last three Ashes Tests will heal in time for the tour of his native South Africa.<br /><br />“I saw a couple of surgeons during the week,” said Pietersen. “It’s slow at the moment, I’ve got an open wound in my leg, but I’m really and truly hoping to be back for the South Africa tour. That’s what I’m looking at, at the moment.”<br /><br />Pietersen suffered an infection after undergoing surgery on his troublesome Achilles in July. It was the latest setback in a frustrating year for the 29-year-old Hampshire player, who first encountered the problem in the Caribbean in March.<br /><br />He strained the tendon again in April while playing for Bangalore Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League, causing him to miss England’s one-day series against the West Indies in May.<br /><br />Meanwhile, all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is considering snubbing a new central contract to go freelance.