Tottenham captain Ledley King has dismissed claims he may have to retire because of his knee injury.
King has been dogged by injury over the last two years and he will not play again this season as Spurs have decided to concentrate on his long-term rehabilitation.
“I’ve read a lot of stories about my situation over the last few weeks but I honestly believe that when I do finally get it all right there won’t be any more problems in the future,” King told Sport magazine.
“It’s just talk. I’ve heard it but I have no idea where it came from. It’s never nice to read stuff like that about yourself but I don’t feel like I have to prove anything to anyone, all I want to do is play football.
“I’m not retiring, let’s put it that way.”
King explained how the knee injury was exacerbated by his desision to delay surgery.
“I was playing on an injured knee for a few seasons, but at the time it didn’t really seem like a major problem,” he said.
“Gradually I just made it worse and when I eventually did have the operation it was maybe a little bit more complex than it should have been.
“I always want to play if I feel I can and at the time the injury was there but I could play through it. I made the decision to keep playing until I really had to have the operation.
“I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be back playing twice a week again. Now my main aim is to prepare myself for next season and do everything possible to ensure that I don’t have any problems next year.
“As a player when you’ve been out for six months what you really need are matches in order to get back to full fitness and consistency, so it’s been difficult playing one game and then missing out in the next three.
“I’m still searching for that fitness because I’m not playing week in week out but we had important games that I really wanted to play in and I felt that if I could get myself right for certain games it would help the team.”
Despite his struggle for fitness, King was included in Fabio Capello’s first England squad – which he admits gave him a boost.
“It was a huge boost. It was actually a little bit catch 22 because, although I was back playing, I still didn’t feel that I was right with my knee and I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to train,” he added.
“But it was great to know I was in his thoughts after only a couple of games. I’m desperate to play for England but at the moment I’m still searching for the consistency of playing games every week. I want to make sure I’m 100 per cent before I start to really think about England again.”