Rio Ferdinand has stood by his decision to fly to Qatar after pulling out of the England squad earlier this week as he manages his fitness.
The Manchester United defender was called up to the national team for the first time by Roy Hodgson but turned down the chance so he could adhere to a detailed pre-planned training and medical programme. Ferdinand was criticised by some after it emerged he was flying to Doha to appear as a pundit for Al Jazeera Sport television for the San Marino match.
However, the 34-year-old once again defended his decision. He said on Al Jazeera Sport: "I met the (Manchester United) boss (Sir Alex Ferguson) in London and we spoke about my regime and (I'm doing) what I've done at the last few international breaks - the same."
He continued: "I was pencilled in to have certain treatments, had them and then I've come away to have some rest time and to recuperate and get myself ready.
"I think obviously the situation with myself and the national team is well documented.
"But this isn't something that I'm doing differently. This is something I've done in past international get-togethers when I've not been involved.
"I've had a course of treatment that I've had to have and then to go and rest and get ready and recuperate - and that's what I've continued to do."
Ferdinand added he cleared the trip with United before flying out.
"I spoke to the club and the club doctors and the physios who have helped me organise the regime that I'm on," he said.
"But ultimately it was spelled out for us anyway."