England v New Zealand: Graeme Swann & Tim Bresnan return

Graeme Swann is back in the England squad after injury for Thursday's first Test against New Zealand at Lord's.

The 34-year-old off-spinner, who has 212 Test victims, missed the 0-0 draw in New Zealand in the winter with an elbow problem that required surgery.

Tim Bresnan, who also missed the New Zealand tour to have an operation on his elbow, is also in the 12-man squad.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow are both included, while Kevin Pietersen is out for the series with knee trouble.

England v New Zealand

1st Test, Lord's: 16-20 May

2nd Test, Headingley: 24-28 May

1st ODI, Lord's: 31 May

2nd ODI, Southampton: 2 June

3rd ODI, Trent Bridge: 5 June

"Both Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan have worked hard to regain fitness following elbow surgery and have demonstrated through their performances for their counties that they are ready for the challenge of international cricket," England national selector Geoff Miller said.

Root, 22, made 73 on his debut in India last December and played in all three Tests in New Zealand, with a top score of 45 in the final match.

The Yorkshire batsman has already made 236 and 182 for his county this season and recorded an unbeaten century on Friday when captaining the England Lions in the current tour match with the Kiwis.

Yorkshire team-mate Bairstow, who made his Test debut against West Indies in May last year, struck successive half centuries in the final Test against South Africa at Lord's in August, with a best score of 95.

Both played in the final Test in New Zealand during the winter, with Bairstow, who had not played a first-class match for four months, dismissed for three and six.

Graeme Swann's stats

Tests: 50

Wickets: 212

Average: 29.13

ODIs: 76

Wickets: 101

Average: 27.16

This season the 23-year-old has made 275 runs in five Championship Division One innings for his county, including 186 against Derbyshire.

England had been expected to comfortably beat the New Zealanders during the winter, but needed an unbeaten century from Matt Prior, and number 11 Monty Panesar to play out five deliveries, to salvage a draw on the final day of the series.

Panesar, 31, who took five wickets in that series at a cost of 70 runs apiece, is omitted to make way for Swann, who took four wickets in the second innings on his return to competitive action for Nottinghamshire against Durham at Trent Bridge last month.

Swann, who has never played a Test against New Zealand, has a Test bowling average of 29.13, and has captured five wickets in an innings on 14 occasions.

Exactly half his 50 appearances have been on home soil, where his record is slightly less impressive, with 84 wickets at a cost of 30.55, although it was in England that he recorded his best Test figures of 6-65, against Pakistan at Edgbaston in 2010.

Tim Bresnan's Test stats

Tests: 18

Runs: 438

Highest: 91

Average: 31.28

Wickets: 57

Bowling average: 32.54

Bresnan, 28, who has 57 wickets in 18 Tests and a batting average of 31, has had two elbow operations but has taken 13 wickets in three Championship matches for Yorkshire this term.

Durham seamer Graham Onions, 30, the leading wicket-taker thus far in this year's County Championship with 18 at an average of 27, has not been included and has played only one Test since January 2010, though has regularly been in squads since then.

Miller said England are "anticipating another very competitive series against New Zealand".

"We know that we will need to improve significantly on our performances in the recent Test series against them if we are to start the international summer on a positive note," he added.

"This series provides a good opportunity for the players to show that they have learnt from the experiences over the winter."

England squad for first Test: Alastair Cook (Essex, captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Nick Compton (Somerset), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Matt Prior (Sussex, wk), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire).