England's cricket bosses say trust will need to be rebuilt after Kevin Pietersen apologised for sending "provocative" text messages to rival players.
Pietersen was dropped from the England squad for sending text messages to South African players and for failing to reveal the contents.
Some were said to contain criticisms of England captain Andrew Strauss.
In a statement issued by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the South African-born batsman admitted: "I did send what you might call provocative texts to my close friends in the SA team.
"The texts were meant as banter between close friends. I need to rein myself in sometimes. I apologise to Straussy and the team for the inappropriate remarks at the press conference and for the texts.
"I truly didn't mean to cause upset or tension particularly with important games at stake."
But England managing director Hugh Morris has said further discussion would need to take place about Pietersen's return to the fold.
He said: "We are in receipt of Kevin's apology but further discussions need to take place to establish whether it is possible to regain the trust and mutual respect required to ensure all parties are able to focus on playing cricket and to maintain the unity of purpose that has served us so well in recent years.
"A successful conclusion to this process is in everyone's best interests and is required for Kevin Pietersen's potential selection in all forms of the game to be considered."
Mr Morris added the ECB were now focusing on the third and final Test against South Africa and would not make any further comment "until such time as is appropriate."
England need to win the match to square the series and retain their number one world ranking.
Strauss said the selectors had made a "brave and correct decision" to axe Pietersen, one of the side's key players.