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EXCLUSIVE: England are wrong to pick my King, says Tottenham boss Redknapp

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24 Mar 2009 08:37:40

EXCLUSIVE: England are wrong to pick my King, says Tottenham boss Redknapp

Harry Redknapp has spoken out about Ledley King's call-up for England after the defender joined Fabio Capello's squad yesterday with his injured knee 'swollen like a balloon', according to his club boss. The Tottenham manager, worried about the fitness of the inspirational King, said yesterday: 'We're concerned about him, we all are. They're taking him away from people who know how to look after him and that's a problem. If he trains with England he won't play for a week, for sure. On the up: Spurs defender Ledley King powers above Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. 'He's the type of boy who doesn't know how to say "no", so that's why he's joined up with the squad. The international break was an important time for his condition to settle down.' King is suffering a chronic cartilage condition in his left knee, but he was a surprise name in Capello's 24-man squad for Saturday's friendly against Slovakia and the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine a week tomorrow. England will argue that this get-together is the ideal chance for their own medical team to take a look at a player who has been in outstanding form. One England insider said: 'It's the coach's responsibility to select the best players and that's what he has done here.'  King of England for a week: Sportsmail imagines Ledley's international dutiesKing surprised as Fabio calls on Tottenham defender for England double-headerSpurs star King admits he still dreams of playing for England despite knee woeTOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NET However, when central defender King reported for England duty yesterday afternoon he had little chance of making a recovery in time to play for his country. Redknapp said: 'He can't train with England all week and then play a game. He's not up to it. His knee has swollen up like a balloon. 'They can't do anything for him. If he plays against Slovakia on Saturday, he won't be able to play against Ukraine on Wednesday because his knee will swell up again. That makes it pointless playing him on the Saturday. 'If he doesn't play on Saturday but plays against Ukraine on Wednesday, he won't be able to play for Tottenham at Blackburn on Saturday lunchtime.' Pointing the finger: Harry Redknapp says England are wrong to call up King. Redknapp claimed King's international career was over last year after just 19 caps, but Capello watched him against Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Saturday with England physio Gary Lewin and was convinced that it can be revived. Although England's medical staff put forward a potential solution last summer, which involved injections into the area that is now bone on bone in his left knee, Spurs would not sanction the procedure. Redknapp added: 'No one wants to see their players play for England more than me. I have players going off all around the world for internationals this week and we have only five players in for training. 'They're in Cameroon, Mexico, all over, with my blessing. But Ledley's a different story.' The defender has not played for England since the 3-0 win over Estonia in a Euro 2008 qualifier in June 2007, under Steve McClaren. Although he has started each of Tottenham's last three games in the Barclays Premier League, Redknapp insists King could not be nursed through tournament football. He said: 'To play a game, Ledley has to have a full week of treatment. If he plays on a Sunday, like he did at Aston Villa, there's no guarantee he'll be fit the following Saturday. The Friday before the Chelsea game it was touch and go - 50:50. 'He was at the training ground with our physios first thing on Monday morning, but there's not much they can do. His knee blows up. On Friday mornings, he comes out on the training pitch for 20 minutes and it's the first we'll have seen of him all week.' King makes a decision then on whether he can play on the weekend after spending 20 minutes running. He will never train full-time again. King said: 'It's a difficult situation. There are not many players who play internationals and don't train.' Last night, however, Capello tried to calm Redknapp's fears. An FA spokesman said: 'Our management have spoken to Tottenham and explained they will take no risks. 'They fully understand the player's injury situation but wanted to have a close look at him in the team environment as he hasn't been part of a Fabio Capello squad. He will be monitored during the week by the England and Tottenham medical staff before any decision on training or playing is made.' Spurs full back Alan Hutton, sidelined since November with a foot injury, appeared in the reserves against West Bromwich Albion last night and hopes to play for Scotland this weekend against Holland.  King of England for a week: Sportsmail imagines Ledley's international dutiesKing surprised as Fabio calls on Tottenham defender for England double-headerSpurs star King admits he still dreams of playing for England despite knee woeTOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NET


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