The Everton midfielder quit Bafana Bafan on October 2, just months before his home nation hosts the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Petersen said:
“We wish somehow he would change his mind.
“I want to sit down with Steven and find out his reasons. We’d love to have him - he’s clearly our best player.”
The 30-year-old has 60 caps for his country and has played in two World Cups, and Petersen wants to retain his experience in next year’s Nations Cup, which takes place between January 19 and February 10.
“It is a big setback for us. It is very sad,” said Petersen.
Petersen believes South Africa’s poor recent form and the huge responsibility on Pienaar’s shoulders were contributing factors in the Blues’ playmaker’s decision.