England and Tottenham to monitor Ledley King's knee

23 March 2009 09:49
It is understood that Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had significant concerns about King's surprise England recall and was determined to remind Capello's medical team that his player was still recovering from the 1-0 win against Chelsea on Saturday.

Lengthy discussions were held regarding King's health and the Football Association released a statement in which they pledged not to take any risks with the Tottenham captain.

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King reported for duty with the rest of the squad at England's Hertfordshire base on Monday night, but Tottenham's medical team will be granted access to their player as Capello prepares for a friendly against Slovakia on Saturday and then a World Cup qualifier against the Ukraine next Wednesday.

A persistent knee problem restricted King to just four Premier League matches last season but, since Redknapp's arrival at Tottenham five months ago, the 28-year-old has played in 15 league matches.

Redknapp has encouraged King to focus solely on league matches and use cup and international weekends as time for precious recovery.

It means that King rarely trains with the rest of the Tottenham team but instead takes in marathon swimming sessions and specialist muscular exercise with club physio Nathan Gardener.

Some of his preparation even involves watching from the sidelines as the team go through set-piece practice so he understands his responsibilities.

It is understood that Capello will not consider him for the relatively unimportant friendly against Slovakia. However, with both Rio Ferdinand and John Terry having missed recent matches through injury, Capello would ideally like the back-up option of King for the World Cup qualifier against the Ukraine.

Although currently both fit, Terry and Ferdinand have not played together since the 4-1 win against Croatia last September. Since then Phil Jagielka and Matthew Upson have both deputised, but Capello could not fail to have been impressed when he watched King help Tottenham record clean sheets over the past month in both the Carling Cup final against Manchester United and then the victory against Chelsea.

However, he will only involve King over the next eight days with Tottenham's cooperation. 'The England management have spoken to Tottenham Hotspur FC today and explained that they will take no risks at all with Ledley King,' said an FA spokesman. 'They fully understand the player's injury situation but they wanted to have a close look at him in the team environment as Ledley has not previously been part of a Fabio Capello squad.

'He will be monitored during the week by the England and Tottenham Hotspur medical staff before any decision on training or playing is made.'

As England congregated yesterday, the inclusion of Leighton Baines for a first England squad alongside Joleon Lescott and Jagielka ensured a notable Everton presence.

'It's the proudest moment of my career,' said Baines. 'To get recognition at that level is something everyone aspires to; I'm delighted and honoured.

'I was only thinking the other day that at Christmas I felt I'd be lucky to get a run of two or three games in our team when Joe (Yobo) was injured. But I'm feeling a lot more confident now. When I knew I was in the 30-man squad, I would have been happy enough with that.'

Baines regards Everton's England involvement as an endorsement for the work of David Moyes. 'It's massive for us as a club,' he said. 'It's a mark of how much we are progressing. Nearly all of our players are internationals.'

With David Beckham poised to break Bobby Moore's record of 108 outfield caps, Stephanie Moore, the widow of the World Cup-winning captain, also visited the England camp to receive a £40,000 cheque for the Bobby Moore Fund as one of the FA's charity partners for 2009.


Source: Telegraph

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