Ledley King is confident he will be fit enough to play every game in the World Cup after revealing the "trust" England coach Fabio Capello has shown in him to manage his own work programme in between matches.
King marked his first international for nearly three years by scoring England's opening goal in last night's 3-1 success over Mexico at Wembley.
The Tottenham defender is only able to undertake the minimum of training to ensure he is able to defy his long-term knee problem.
But Capello is prepared to put faith in King's own tried-and-tested methods in harness with the England medical staff.
Asked if he could play every game in South Africa, King said: "I believe so. Towards the end of the season I managed to played three games in a week for Spurs so I do know that I can do it.
"I probably couldn't do it over a whole season, not every game, but over a short period I definitely can do it - with the medical team we have here and the right recovery programme so, why not? Yes I can.
"We've tried not to change anything with England compared to what I do at Spurs.
"The only difference was I joined up with England after a week where I didn't have a game so the knee was in relatively good condition going away to the training camp in Austria.
"But we still didn't want to overdo anything and jeopardise the game against Mexico. The game was the most important thing.
"The manager is prepared to trust me. He has been brilliant. He said 'do what you do at Tottenham' and the medical team here have done that with me."
King admits he started to doubt whether he would add to the 19 caps he clocked up for his country before his long absence.
But he is hoping having to answer questions about his fitness will cease if he can play on a more regular basis.
He said: "I always believed I could play at this level.
"But then you start to have your doubts with the way the knee was going so it is probably a bit of a surprise how the season has turned around for me.
"People are always going to judge me on my fitness. I've missed a lot of games so it is kind of normal.
"But hopefully once I am playing on a regular basis, then hopefully people do stop asking me about my fitness.
"I also get asked if it was a big challenge coming back into the squad after three years but I've played with most of the players here before.
"It has been a while but I wouldn't say that was the difficult part."
King was delighted to double his goal tally for his country but concedes he did not produce one of his better performances against the Mexicans, who twice tested Robert Green and struck the woodwork in the first half.
He said: "It is always nice to score but that was not the important thing. The important thing was for me to try and get through the 90 minutes, try and stake a claim for the World Cup squad.
"They were a good side and in the first half they dragged us around a bit and it was difficult.
"It wasn't one of my better performances but you just have to dig deep when you don't think you are playing well.
"You stick in there and try and improve. Their movement was good and the manager made it known that we weren't getting tight enough to them in the first half and you saw a difference in the second half."