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By ESPN Staff

King determined to help Spurs out of rut

Captain Ledley King insists Tottenham's form is a far greater worry than the injury which has curtailed his international career and restricted his involvement at club level.

The recurring knee problem means that King, who is expected to return at Stoke on Sunday, is currently unable to play more than once a week.

With Croatian Vedran Corluka ineligible for the UEFA Cup, manager Juande Ramos has been forced to save King for the European games.

That factor has severely restricted his league appearances, leaving him frustrated by his inability to play a full part in Tottenham's struggle.

King last played for England against Estonia in June 2007 but, despite all the setbacks which have cost him his place in Fabio Capello's squad, he is not worrying that the injury could be career-threatening.

"When you are out for a long time you think about your career but I've tried to stay strong and, at the moment, I'm not fearful for it,'' he said.

"The thing I'm fearful for is that the team's not doing so well and I'm not playing every game.

"I'm not thinking about finishing playing football at the moment, I'm just thinking about trying to do as much as I can to help.''

He added: "I want to be on the pitch every week playing and at the moment all I can do is continue to work hard off the pitch and make myself available for as many games as I can.

"The manager is helping me as much as he can by leaving me out to make sure I'm ready for another game.''

King revealed that his knee was first damaged back in 1999, saying: "The problem started in my first full game against Derby.

"I got tackled and a little while after that I had an operation. For years I've been fine but slowly I had other problems.''

After missing six months of last season, King spent a month in Barcelona in the summer trying to strengthen it but said: "I came back and still had a problem.

"Over the summer, I worked hard and had a good spell with it but at any time it can flare up.

"There was a bit of a scare again so we decided we have to take this slowly and can't rush into playing too many games at once. The main thing for me is to try to be there throughout the season when needed.''

King, who turned 28 earlier this month, admitted: "At my age I shouldn't have the problems I'm having.''

He has had more specialist appointments than he cares to remember, explaining: "I've seen plenty and you try and take a few things of each and see what helps.

"At the moment I'm still searching a little bit but I'm working with the physios every day and we've got a routine.

"We stick to that and the main thing when I play is how it reacts and settling it down and trying to get out there again.''

King maintains that bottom-placed Tottenham, without a win in their seven Premier League matches this season, can haul themselves away from the relegation zone.

He said: "There's really no reason why we should be where we are in the league. We've talked about it plenty and we're just trying to get it right at the moment. It's about clicking and we haven't done that yet.

"There's no problems off the pitch between players or staff and we're all just working hard to make sure we can improve our position.

"The only thing that is lacking at the moment is winning games. It's not through lack of effort or any problems in the camp.

"The players are 100% behind the manager. We have no problems there. It's not so long ago that we won the Carling Cup and beat Arsenal and Chelsea along the way and everything was looking good so I don't feel there's a massive problem.

"At the moment we're just stuck in a bit of a rut and when you're down there things seem to go against you and it becomes harder and harder each week to get out.

"That's our problem at the moment but the manager is calm and that's rubbing off on the players. We realise we have to get a result but we're not panicking.''

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