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By ESPN Staff

Spurs' defender King nearing first-team return

Ledley King believes he is set to reap the rewards from a safety-first approach to his return from knee surgery.

The England centre-half, 27, made his first appearance since going under the knife in May in a 45-minute reserve outing at Fulham last night.

King has not played for Spurs' first team since their final game of last season against Manchester City after several false dawns in his recovery process.

But after taking no risks with his recuperation, the defender believes he has improved his chances of reaching full fitness once again.

'It was nice just to come through 45, my first in six months or so, and it feels good,' King said.

'The medical staff have been brilliant and have helped me to get to where I am now. I had confidence in the knee going out there and that is a good feeling.

'I feel fine, it was good to come through it. As long as the knee is fine I am happy.'

King insisted he had no choice but to take his comeback slowly.

'I've had my fair share of injuries, but this has been the longest one,' he added.

'They are all as frustrating as each other, but this has been the one I've had to be most careful with and I had to make sure I was right before coming back so that I don't have any more problems.

'I feel I have done that and hopefully I will get the rewards from it.'