Ledley King feels he will be able to cope with the rigours of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ as he faces up to the possibility of replacing Rio Ferdinand at the heart of England's defence. With the Manchester United centre-back ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury, the Tottenham Hotspur man looks to be ahead of Jamie Carragher in the race to partner John Terry.

That could mean King playing as many as seven games in the month of the tournament - a big demand for a player who finds training difficult because of his own chronic knee injury. The 29-year-old is nevertheless optimistic he can play a full part in England's campaign.

I like to believe so. I've shown this season I can play games in quick succession.

England's Ledley King on whether he is up to playing seven games within a month

"I like to believe so," King said. "The medical team, the facilities are second to none. I believe with the right help and support I can do that. The medical team, the manager have allowed me to do what I normally do. I couldn't ask for any more than that."

England face a friendly against local side Platinum All-Stars tomorrow - five days ahead of their tournament opener against USA - with King likely to play at least 45 minutes.

"I've shown this season I can play games in quick succession," he said. "Monday to Saturday shouldn't be a problem for me. However many minutes I get I believe I will be ready if needed on Saturday."

King believes he and Terry can form a solid partnership for England. "I've known John for a long time. He's a great communicator on the pitch and that's what you need," he said.

"It is difficult. We're not going to have much time to for it regardless of me training once or twice a week. Communication is key and if that's good, we have a good chance."

King revealed his sympathy for Ferdinand, saying: "He was going to captain the side. Any player would be disappointed to miss out on the World Cup. He's very disappointed at the moment.

My first reaction was disappointment for Rio. As a friend and team-mate, I felt for him.

Ledley King on hearing about Rio Ferdinand's injury

"He's going to stick around and show his support. Obviously my first reaction was disappointment for Rio. As a friend and team-mate, I felt for him.

"But I always prepare to play, so nothing's changed in that respect. As a player you always prepare to play. You never know what's round the corner. At any time an injury could occur and you could be called upon."

Meanwhile, no decision has been taken on when Ferdinand will leave the squad and fly back home.