Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wales Keep a Watching Brief as Bellamy Heads East

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wales Keep a Watching Brief as Bellamy Heads East

Article excerpt

WALES officials will monitor Craig Bellamy's involvement in Manchester City's trip to Abu Dhabi this week.

The national team captain (pictured above) has withdrawn from the squad to play Scotland at Cardiff City's new stadium on Saturday with a groin injury. However, he has flown with the City squad to the Middle East to continue his treatment with the club's medical staff on the trip.

There have been suggestions from Abu Dhabi Bellamy could have recovered enough to figure in the friendly with the UAE tomorrow in the Gulf state.

The Football Association of Wales have been quick to underline they have had full co-operation with Manchester City this time over Bellamy's fitness.

Earlier in the season City forgot to tell Wales Bellamy would not be available for a friendly in Montenegro, and Wales boss John Toshack flew out from Cardiff with his squad that day without any contact from City chief Mark Hughes, his predecessor as Wales boss.

This time around both sides have gone to great pains to make it clear there has been full co-operation between the two medical teams.

Wales, though, do not expect Bellamy to play in tomorrow's friendly, and their attitude could change quickly if the Cardiff-born striker is involved in the match.

Toshack yesterday explained the Welsh view on the subject, saying: "We saw that after his last game for us (in Finland), when he came back he had picked up an injury and missed the next Manchester City game.

"Now he has played the full 90 minutes for City last Saturday, and after the match their doctor was straight on the phone to our medical people saying Craig had complained of a groin injury towards the end of the game.

"The match was at such a point that he stayed on, finished the game and a decision was made that they would have a look at him yesterday morning. …

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