Sir Trevor Brooking admits Fabio Capello will be gambling if he takes Ledley King to the World Cup - but feels it is a risk worth taking.
Tottenham defender King has been named in Capello's preliminary 30-man England squad for South Africa despite persistent doubts over his fitness. The 29-year-old hardly trains due to a chronic knee problem and rarely plays in back-to-back matches.
"Ledley is a gamble to a certain extent, but everyone knows how to utilise Ledley," Brooking, the Football Association's director of football development, told Press Association Sport.
"He doesn't do a lot of training, you bring him in before a game and with two or three days in between it's workable.
"You make that judgment on what the other centre-halves, like Rio Ferdinand, are looking like. You've got Jamie Carragher as well as cover."
Injury doubts also surround Ferdinand, John Terry and Gareth Barry, with the latter struggling to be fit for the finals.
The Manchester City midfielder is in Capello's training-camp squad despite suffering an ankle ligament injury earlier this month.
"These two weeks will be an important assessment," added Brooking. "Gareth Barry has had a late injury and he's been unlucky as he was one of our most consistent performers in qualifying.
"So Fabio has involved him to see whether he can make it. At the moment he's more dubious than likely to.
"With Rio you can tell quite a bit during the training camp. Defensively we've got one or two injury issues but Jamie Carragher has come in and he gives you that versatility."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms