Tremlett's anticipated return on his home ground for his first Test since breaking down in the desert against Pakistan 19 months ago, is the obvious response following the back injury which has ended fellow seamer Tim Bresnan's season early.
Were it not for Bresnan's bad luck, England would have been unchanged after their series-clinching victory at Chester-le-Street. However, it now seems likely they will select not only Tremlett, but a fourth back-up seam-bowler in a squad of 13.
Other possibilities include elevation for young Lancastrian slow left-armer Simon Kerrigan as a second spinner, an all-round option such as Ben Stokes to cover more bases or even a shot at a debut for improving and well-regarded Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance. In years gone by, the temptation to tinker might have been too much for old-style England management, but Andy Flower's regime is more measured in its methods.
It would be a departure from protocol, too, to make a change at this stage to accommodate a new face. Picking Stokes or Ballance, other than as a contingency for Pietersen's dodgy right knee, would make Jonny Bairstow the fall-guy at number six.
There have been times this summer when the young Yorkshireman's Test apprenticeship has looked decidedly shaky.
However, his scores just about stack up in a line-up which has been bailed out by the prolific Ian Bell. The logical conclusion is that he will stay put. As for the seamers, Tremlett and Graham Onions have been primed for a return after their inclusion in squads ahead of Steven Finn.
Onions appears out of the equation after breaking a finger on Durham duty last week, which means Tremlett and Finn, in that order, will fit the bill if England go belt-and-braces. Tremlett is favourite to partner new-ball pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad, but England will want to go carefully with a fragile asset who could yet be the key that unlocks the Ashes in Perth and beyond in Australia this winter.
There are mutterings about resting Anderson at The Oval. England's best bowler has struggled since his efforts in Nottingham, a fact acknowledged by Flower. The coach was, however, resistant to the idea of asking Anderson to take a back seat - even before it was revealed Bresnan had a stress fracture in his lower back. "It would have been impossible to sustain the standards and energy levels he showed in those first two Tests." Flower said of Anderson."But we don't have to rush any decisions on selection for the fifth Test."