Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen could miss the opening two matches of the IPL.

Kevin Pietersen's post-England career has suffered a blow following the news a finger injury will rule the 33 year old out of the Delhi Daredevils' opening Indian Premier League match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday.

Pietersen was due to captain the IPL franchise in their first game in Sharjah but will be absent from the team and could miss the second match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.

The highest run-scorer for England in international cricket was involved in batting practise upon returning to Surrey, where he has signed a contract for the domestic season, but won't be considered for selection this week.

"Kevin is still a few days away so he won't be considered for tomorrow," Delhi assistant Eric Simons said. "It is obviously a setback because he's an important player in our setup and an important player in any team. It is a difficult situation.

"I think we'll take it one day at a time and see how it progresses each morning but he definitely won't be considered for tomorrow. He has done some work with the bat, some drills but nothing too strenuous. It's obviously disappointing for him as it is for us."

Dinesh Karthik is expected to deputise as captain after standing in for Pietersen – who attended a photo call with the other seven captains on Tuesday - in the warm-up win over Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the seventh edition of the IPL.

After being banished from the England set-up ahead of the imminent appointment of a new head coach, Pietersen has signed up for the IPL, T20 Blast and the Caribbean Premier League where he will play for St Lucia Zouks.

The batsman will also feature in the MCC v Rest of the World Lord's bicentenary celebration match in early July.