Capello 'won't protect star players'

Fabio Capello has no intention of wrapping his players in cotton wool to avoid another Rio Ferdinand-type injury.

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."

He added: "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."

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 June 14.

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."

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