Three-time champion Alberto Contador has moved to calm rumours which suggest a painful knee could force him off the Tour de France prematurely.

The Spaniard originally suffered the pain in his right knee in a crash on the fifth stage last Wednesday, and compounded it on Sunday when he came down in the crashed-marred ninth stage.

A day after admitting he was receiving treatment to deal with swelling, the yellow jersey champion said it was not so serious as to rule him out the race.

"I don't think I'll be going home, not before the end of the Tour de France," the Saxo Bank rider said at the end of Tuesday's 10th stage.

"I will do everything possible to achieve my goal which is to fight for overall victory in Paris."

Contador has won the past six Grand Tours in which he has competed, winning the yellow jersey in 2007, 2009 and 2010, the Tour of Spain in 2008 and the Tour of Italy in 2008 and 2011.

After the 158 km ride from Aurillac to Carmaux, and won in a sprint finish by German Andre Greipel, Contador is still 16th at 4:07 behind race leader Thomas Voeckler of Europcar.

He is notably 1:41 behind third-placed Australian rival Cadel Evans and 1:30 behind fellow two-time runner-up Andy Schleck.

Contador added: "The stage went well, and that's good news for my knee. It wasn't a very demanding stage.

"Now I will rest and think about tomorrow (Wednesday). It's one of the rare days we've got left to get over our little injury niggles."

Saxo Bank sporting director Philippe Mauduit said Contador's knee is "getting better".

"The test (Tuesday) went fine. He's still got a little pain, which is normal after a knock on that part of the knee," said the Frenchman.

"Last night it was still a bit swollen, this morning a bit less. It's mostly a good sign."

The first of three consecutive days in the Pyrenees starts with the 12th stage on Thursday, which finishes on Luz Ardiden.