King returns to Tottenham

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The Independent Online

Ledley King has returned to Tottenham and will play no further part in England's preparations for Saturday's friendly with Slovakia nor the World Cup qualifier against the Ukraine.

The move, taken with the full agreement of both the England and Spurs coaching staff, brings a predictable end to a bizarre 48 hours.

Fabio Capello sprang a major surprise when he picked King in his 24-man squad given the defender is unable to train due to a chronic knee condition.

Although King joined up with the England squad last night, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp questioned the wisdom of such a move, confirming if the 28-year-old featured against Ukraine he could not be considered for club duty against Blackburn on April 4.

King was on the team bus that went to training at Arsenal's London Colney complex this morning, but returned to the Three Lions' base in Watford without actually getting off.

Then, a couple of hours later, came confirmation of King's departure.

"Ledley King has returned to Spurs Lodge to continue his rehabilitation over the course of the international break, following discussions and assessments overnight by the medical staff of both the club and the England national team," said a statement released by the FA.

"It has been agreed by both parties that the best interests of the player are served by continuing his individual training programme at the club and he will play no further part in England's preparations or participate in the friendly against Slovakia or the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine."

The decision effectively ends King's international career, meaning the last of his 19 caps came against Estonia in Tallinn in June 2007.

Redknapp will view it as a sensible move, meaning he can now continue to monitor King's career in the best interests of Tottenham.

At this stage it appears unlikely Capello will draft in a replacement, although questions are sure to be asked as to whether the Italian knew the full extent of King's problems before announcing his squad on Sunday evening.

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