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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Sunday, 6 June 2010 12:46 UK

World Cup 2010: Ledley King confident over fitness

Ledley King
King is ready to fill the void left by Rio Ferdinand's injury

England centre-back Ledley King is confident his body would stand up to the rigours of playing matches in quick succession during the World Cup.

The Tottenham star, 29, can train only twice a week because of knee problems.

King could play against Platinum Stars in England's final warm-up on Monday and then in their World Cup opener against United States on 12 June.

He said: "I've shown this season I can play games in quick succession. Monday to Saturday shouldn't be a problem."

Coach Fabio Capello must decide who will partner John Terry after skipper Rio Ferdinand was forced to pull out of the tournament with knee ligament damage.

King looks to be the front runner ahead of Matthew Upson, Jamie Carragher and his Spurs team-mate Michael Dawson - but that could mean playing as many as seven games if England were to reach the final of the month-long tournament.

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Upson, who is recovering from a high temperature, was the only absentee from England's morning training session in Rustenburg on Sunday.

King believes he can play a full part in England's campaign.

"I like to believe so," he said. "The medical team, the facilities are second to none. I believe with the right help and support I can do that.

"The medical team, the manager have allowed me to do what I normally do. I couldn't ask for any more than that."

King also believes he and Terry can form a solid partnership for England, despite the fact that their preparation time together will be minimal.

"I've known John for a long time. He's a great communicator on the pitch and that's what you need," he said.

"It is difficult. We're not going to have much time regardless of me training once or twice a week. But I am an experienced player and have played for long enough to know my position.

"I will keep an eye on training - especially for set-pieces - and I am sure I will know where to be on the pitch. Communication is key and, if that's good, we have a good chance."

King also revealed his sympathy for Ferdinand, saying: "He was going to captain the side. Any player would be disappointed to miss out on the World Cup.

"He's very disappointed at the moment. But he's going to stick around and show his support.

"Obviously my first reaction was disappointment for Rio. As a friend and team-mate I felt for him.

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"But I always prepare to play, so nothing's changed in that respect.

"As a player you always prepare to play. You never know what's round the corner. At any time an injury could occur and you could be called upon."

Michael Dawson, the man brought into the squad following Ferdinand's withdrawal, has backed King to slot in alongside Terry.

Dawson forms Tottenham's centre-back partnership with King so knows the defender better than most.

He said: "Without a shadow of doubt Ledley won't let anyone down. The last couple of months with Tottenham he played three games in seven days, so he can do that - and when he's fit, he is world class.

"Playing alongside Ledley, he certainly brings a calmness to the whole team. You look at him and he never seems to get flustered. He's not someone who will rant and rave.

"He's actually quite quiet. But when he does talk everyone listens - and he leads by example and his performances show that."



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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
England will recover - Gerrard
05 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello bemoans England 'curse'
05 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Ferdinand ruled out of World Cup
04 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England training photos
04 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England reveal 2010 squad numbers
03 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England team land in South Africa
03 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Walcott left out of England squad
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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