Gareth Barry insists he will be "spot on" in terms of fitness for England's World Cup clash with Algeria after admitting it was touch and go at one stage whether he would make the squad.
The midfielder revealed his ankle - injured when playing for Manchester City against Tottenham in early May - is fully recovered. Barry is confident another week's training before the encounter in Cape Town will leave him 100% ready should he be required by Fabio Capello.
"The ankle has been fine for 10 days. Another week's training in the lead-up to the Algeria game and I should be spot on," Barry told BBC Sport.
"If the manager had asked me if I was ready to play against the United States at the weekend, I would have bitten his hand off to try and make the starting team.
"I was desperate for us to go two or three goals up and then he might have thrown me on!"
That desperation is borne out of the fact Barry is involved in his first World Cup after being overlooked for 2002 and 2006 by Sven-Goran Eriksson.
He said: "It has felt like the World Cup was never going to come for me. Midway through the Sven-Goran Eriksson era, my England career and the World Cup looked miles away.
"When the injury came, it felt like it was one of those things, that it (the World Cup) was not going to happen. But it was important I never stopped believing."
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