England skipper John Terry has insisted there is no question mark over his fitness ahead of next summer's FIFA World Cup™ finals.
Terry pulled out of an England training session on Wednesday with a slight groin injury but has declared himself fully fit for this evening's friendly international with Slovenia at Wembley. The Chelsea captain had problems in the past with his back but is adamant surgery has alleviated any fears in that direction and was a virtual ever present for his club last season.
He said: "I am 100 per cent fit. I was a bit tight in my groin from the game for Chelsea on Saturday. I trained Monday and Tuesday. The lads were doing an 11 versus 11 game on Wednesday so the manager said 'don't train Wednesday, train Thursday-Friday' and I am ready for the game.
It is bizarre people question my general fitness. I played something like 63 games last season.
"It is bizarre people question my general fitness. I played something like 63 games last season. Yes, I had a problem with my back before. That was an operation I had to have. It was frustrating for me because you play so many games and people still bring up past injuries. I am as fit as I've ever been for Chelsea and England."
Terry acknowledges that friendly internationals are crucial for identifying replacements should key players pick up injuries. He said: "Ideally we'd all like to be fit throughout the campaign but there are going to be injuries and suspensions and we'll have to deal with them.
"That's why the squad becomes even more important. These friendly games become even more important because it's a chance for players to come in and make their place and give the manager a problem when it comes to team selection."
Terry is also pleased to be heading into the international double header with his contract situation at Chelsea resolved after signing a two-year extension to his current deal. He said: "I'm delighted. It was something that happened very quickly. As I said all along, once Didier (Drogba) and Ashley (Cole) were sorted the club approached me.
"We extended two years on my contract, so I've now get five years left, and I'm delighted with that. On a personal note and collectively, I think Chelsea are going in the right direction. We've cemented some key players over the last few months. The club approached me once those other players were sorted and it was something that was done in the space of two or three days. I was delighted to agree terms and I've always said I wanted to stay."