Brees: I will play

Drew Brees has insisted that he will win his fitness race to play for the New Orleans Saints against the Carolina Panthers.

A torn rotator cuff, suffered last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has resulted in Brees sitting out the majority of the Saints' preparation for the Panthers, but he remains confident of making the cut.

"I have every intention of playing although I'm having to take it day-by-day," he told "I have to be smart.

"I'm not used to it, I don't like it. I have obviously dealt with things in the past.

"I knew [about the injury sustained last week]. I've felt this before, I've had this happen before on the other shoulder to varying degrees.

"But that's not the same because I'm not throwing with that one."

Now aged 36, Brees hasn't missed a starting berth due to injury since he joined the Saints from the San Diego Chargers in 2006.

He retains belief he will overcome this latest injury because of lessons learned a decade ago when he sustained more serious damage.

He said: "When I dislocated my shoulder back in 2005 and rehabbed it through 2006, I was told right then by Dr. Andrews 'you're always going to have to stay on top of this shoulder'.

"'You're always going to have to do a little bit extra to keep it at the level that you want to keep it at'.

"That was the best thing that ever happened to me because I started doing things that I'd never done before. I learned so much about my shoulder – what felt right and what didn't. I felt my shoulder was stronger than ever before after that rehab process."

So how would Brees rate his own chances of throwing the opening play on Sunday as the Saints hunt down their first win of the season?

"I'm pretty confident…"