Ledley King has taken inspiration from another central defender in Paul McGrath in dealing with his long-term knee problem.
McGrath was renowned for being unable to train, particularly during his seven-year spell at Aston Villa in the 1990s, because of his chronic knee complaint.
But the former Manchester United star somehow put this handicap to one side and consistently produced star performances which made him a hero with the Villa Park fans.
King has experienced similar problems for several seasons but he has managed the knee condition and forced his way into England's World Cup squad.
Now he is in strong contention to start England's opening match against South Africa in Rustenburg on Saturday.
When asked which other sports people had inspired him, King said: "A lot has been said about Paul McGrath. He suffered knee problems and still managed to perform at a high level.
"He was someone that was mentioned a lot with me, somebody I looked at and I read his book. I picked up things on how his mind worked and what things to look out for along the line.
"There are times when you do doubt yourself because you're not training and don't have the same sharpness. At any one time that can show up but you have to stay strong in your head and believe that you can still perform.
"I never spoke directly to him, but I read his book and about his other problems too."
King has experience of being called into the England side as a replacement for a crucial game. John Terry was injured for England's opening Euro 2004 game against then champions France in Portugal and King was handed his opportunity.
He said: "Back in 2004, I was 23 and the France game was my first competitive game for England. It was an insane game. It showed how you can be doing well but it only takes a second for a bit of magic to strike.
"We were leading 1-0 late on and Zinedine Zidane got the free-kick and penalty in the last minute to put the game to bed. It was a strange game.
"Now we are six years down the line, I feel a lot more experienced and a lot more headstrong about the situation if it occurs again.
"I also went home early from that tournament because my son (Coby) was born nine weeks early. It was a tough decision but one I thought I should make. I got the call the morning of the Portugal game and had to fly out."
King admits the new tournament ball is proving difficult for players to come to terms with as was the case for the United States defenders in friendly with Australia.
He said: "I watched the USA-Australia game and the ball is difficult to deal with. We have been out there today doing some defending and crossing situations and the ball really does move about.
"We will see a lot of that at the World Cup and it will be different for strikers as well. Both teams will try and get their heads on the ball and it will be difficult not just for goalkeepers."