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Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 15:29 UK

West Ham & Wales' Jack Collison ruled out until 2011

Jack Collison
Collison has not fully recovered after cartilage damage last season

West Ham and Wales midfielder Jack Collison will be out for around nine months after undergoing knee surgery.

The 21-year-old never fully recovered from the cartilage damage he suffered last season and has not played since Wales' 1-0 defeat to Sweden on 3 March.

"He had an operation and they told me he is going to be out for nine months," said Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola.

"I know he is a strong fellow and I am sure he will be quicker than that. I wish him a quick recovery."

Zola has given the highest praise to the young midfielder, a product of the West Ham youth system, in the past.

His loss will be a severe blow to Wales manager John Toshack, whose other young, star, midfielder Aaron Ramsey is not expected back until 2011 after suffering a horrific leg break when playing for Arsenal.

In the shorter term, Wales look particularly short in midfield for their 23 May friendly in Croatia, Joe Allen (shoulder) having been added to their injury list this week.

The 22 May Championship play-off at Wembley takes precedence over the Croatia match and there are Wales internationals in the squads of all four semi-final contenders.

Cardiff City have Joe Ledley, Adam Matthews and Darcy Blake in their ranks, while their opponents Leicester have the in-form Andy King.

Rob Earnshaw and Chris Gunter feature for Nottingham Forest whose play-off opponents Blackpool have Neal Eardley, David Vaughan and Rob Edwards in their ranks.

Wales captain Craig Bellamy is also unlikely to be considered for the Croatia trip as he is expected to be visiting his footballing foundation in Sierra Leone.

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see also
Wales' Allen to miss Croatia game
07 May 10 |  Welsh
Collison's warning to young Wales
02 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Collison pledges Wales allegiance
03 Dec 09 |  West Ham
Collison could return this season
13 Mar 09 |  West Ham
Collison savours Wales experience
23 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Hartson hails Ramsey & Collison
20 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Collison signs new West Ham deal
18 Dec 08 |  West Ham
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Welsh
Welsh football history
25 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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