Fabio Capello has no intention of wrapping his players in cotton wool to avoid another Rio Ferdinand-type injury.
Ferdinand's FIFA World Cup™ is already over after he damaged ankle ligaments in an innocuous challenge with Emile Heskey during England's first full session at their Royal Bafokeng training complex.
The loss of their captain represents a huge blow for England, leaving Capello to patch up his defence with either Ledley King, Jamie Carragher, Matthew Upson or Michael Dawson, who received a warm welcome on his arrival at England's base in Rustenburg this morning.
With a warm-up game against local side Platinum Stars arranged for Monday afternoon, there must be a temptation for Capello to hold his main players back to ensure they remain fit for the Group C opener against the United States in Rustenburg next Saturday.
But the Italian cannot see the point of that, which means Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard will all be involved this week.
"I know what can happen but that is the job," Capello said. "What do you do? Swim and not play? You have to train. Sometimes you try to be careful and it still doesn't work.
"You might have a situation where if someone gets a yellow card they miss the next game. They don't play and then, before the next game, you are injured during training. You cannot know the future."
Sometimes you try to be careful and it still doesn't work.
Most teams complete their preparations this weekend, although Spain still have a friendly to play on Tuesday as they are one of the last teams in action, on 14 June.
But after playing just twice, against Mexico and Japan, before departure, Capello feels it is important to give his side more match practice, and intends to give every member of his likely starting XI against the US at least 45 minutes.
"I have to play all the players that will play against the USA for 45 minutes or 60 minutes," he said. "I don't know if it is a major risk. I touch wood. We have to be careful about injuries but we have to prepare for that game."
While the reception Dawson received from Capello, and then John Terry, after arriving was genuine, it was a reminder of the FIFA World Cup's fragile nature.
Already Chelsea trio Michael Ballack, Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel have been ruled out, while Didier Drogba's hopes of being involved are hanging in the balance after he suffered a broken arm against Japan yesterday.
"I am really upset for Rio," Capello added. "You work and train for one year and that happens. It just shows it is not easy to play at a World Cup.
"But the big difference between the players and me is that, as a coach, I was prepared for the fact that someone would be injured. I just hoped it would be during a game, not during training."
Nevertheless, given the meticulous nature of his preparation, it comes as no surprise to learn Capello knows exactly what his starting XI will be next Saturday, further injuries permitting.
"More or less I know the 11 that will start, including the goalkeeper, but I am not going to say," he said. "Rio was in the first 11 so it is better not to think about it."