David James has revealed his "hunger" to return to the England side against Ukraine this weekend after the frustration of missing the last five internationals through injury.
But he will accept Fabio Capello's decision if he opts to stick with the "winning formula" which has seen England qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals with two matches to spare during his absence.
James said: "It's been a frustrating time. The biggest frustration had been that the operations were supposed to be scheduled for me to have a quick return."
Robert Green has been competent in filling the breach after James underwent shoulder surgery during the summer against Kazakhstan, Andorra, Holland, Slovenia and Croatia.
The 39-year-old, recalled as number one when Capello took charge, had been hoping to return for the start of the season.
But being over-eager and other injury niggles have meant he is only now getting back to 100 % fitness.
"The shoulder was going to be the big issue," he added. "Maybe over-eagerness played its part in me not being fit at the start of the season.
"I'd never had surgery before in my career so I thought that, as soon as it stopped hurting, I could crack on.
"Without sounding funny, the goal of being involved with England is a big one.
"Everything was geared towards making sure I was ready for the qualifiers at the start of this season. With hindsight, I should have had a different approach, perhaps."
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