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Craig Bellamy doubtful for Wales friendly in Croatia

Craig Bellamy has missed the previous four Wales friendlies
Craig Bellamy has missed the previous four Wales friendlies

Captain Craig Bellamy could miss Wales' 23 May friendly in Croatia to visit his footballing foundation in Sierra Leone.

The Football Association of Wales confirmed the Manchester City striker is unlikely to travel to Osijek.

That would see Bellamy, who founded his African charity project in 2008, miss his fifth successive Wales friendly.

Manager John Toshack has previously refused to confirm whether the 30-year-old Bellamy will play a part in Wales' Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Bellamy and Toshack have also had several high-profile public disagreements in the past.

The Wales boss already expects to be without key midfield duo Aaron Ramsey and Jack Collison until the new year.

West Ham United youngster Collison could be out for up to nine months after undergoing knee surgery last month.

Arsenal teenager Ramsey is recovering from an operation to fix fractures to his fibula and tibia after his horror injury at Stoke in February.

Now it seems as though Bellamy will also miss the 23 May friendly at the Stadion Gradski Vrt.

Bellamy is planning a May visit to the opening of his Sierra Leone academy, having committed £650,000 for his personal project to help children of the war-torn African country.

The 58-times capped Welshman's injury-plagued past has meant Bellamy has missed 45 Wales internationals since making his debut against Jamaica in March 1998.

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Bellamy, who tries to manage his long-standing knee troubles, has led his side out in 10 of the 28 games played since replacing Ryan Giggs as Wales skipper in 2007.

A row broke out last August when Bellamy failed to report for Wales' friendly against Montenegro after his club admitted they failed to inform Toshack the player was not fit.

Then Bellamy was not even picked for Wales' friendly defeat to Sweden at Swansea in February, despite the player insisting he was fit.

And when asked about Bellamy's international future, Toshack said: "Well, we don't know."

Ryan Giggs, Robbie Savage, Jason Koumas, John Hartson and Mark Delaney have all retired from international football, for varying reasons, since Toshack replaced Mark Hughes as Wales boss.

Bellamy is one of just a few Welsh international Premier League regulars alongside Gareth Bale, Simon Davies and James Collins and the Wales skipper has been one of British football's form players this season.

But Bellamy is unlikely to be included in Toshack's 20-man squad to travel to Croatia later this month.

Toshack's options could be weakened further depending on which teams are involved in the Championship play-off final at Wembley, to be played the day before the Croatia game.

Nine Welsh internationals are set to be involved in the Championship play-offs, so the Wales manager will name his squad to fly to Osijek next week after the second leg of the Championship play-off semi-finals.

Toshack will then have a clear idea of which players he can call up for the Croatia clash, with those involved in the play-off final being ruled out.

Joe Ledley, Adam Matthews and Darcy Blake will feature for Cardiff City if they qualify for the Wembley showpiece, while Andy King is key to Leicester City's Premier League bid.

Striker Rob Earnshaw and defender Chris Gunter are important to Nottingham Forest's push and Wales trio Neal Eardley, David Vaughan and Rob Edwards are in Blackpool's play-off squad.



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see also
Man City reject Redknapp claims
05 May 10 |  Tottenham
Stock eyes Wales friendly return
20 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Wales confirm Luxembourg friendly
20 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Wales v Croatia venue announced
22 Mar 10 |  Welsh
No complaints over loss - Toshack
03 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Bellamy 'should not quit Wales'
03 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Toshack casts doubt over Bellamy
01 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals


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