Wales boss Gary Speed has left Craig Bellamy out of his squad for the Carling Nations Cup match against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin next month.
The forward, on loan at Cardiff from Manchester City, has an ongoing knee problem which restricts the number of games he can play in, and he is set to feature in a crucial game for the Bluebirds against fellow npower Championship promotion contenders Swansea on Sunday, two days before Wales’ game against the Irish on February 8.
Speed said: “I am sure everyone is aware of Craig’s situation and it would be wrong of me to ask him to play on Tuesday after playing on Sunday. The last thing we want is players going back to their clubs injured.”
Tottenham star Gareth Bale was not considered because of a back problem, but West Ham defender Danny Gabbidon is back in the squad after reversing his decision to retire from international football.
Another Cardiff loanee, Aaron Ramsey, has also returned to the squad for the first time since suffering a broken leg last season while Freddy Eastwood has also been drafted back in.
Speed said of the Arsenal youngster: “I’m delighted he’s available. He is really relishing the challenge and the Ireland game might come at the right time for him. He is hopefully one of the cogs in the wheel that will make us successful. He’s one of those players who can change a game.”
But new national boss Speed has been unable to talk Fulham midfielder Simon Davies out of retirement.
He added: “Simon said he was tempted but at the moment he wants to concentrate on his Fulham career and I respect that totally. Obviously Simon is a quality player but I totally respect his decision.”
J Brown (Blackburn), W Hennessey (Wolves), B Myhill (West Brom); D Collins (Stoke), J Collins (Aston Villa), N Eardley (Blackpool), D Gabbidon (West Ham), C Gunter (Nottingham Forest), C Morgan (Preston), S Ricketts (Bolton), A Williams (Swansea); A Crofts (Norwich), D Edwards (Wolves), A King (Leicester), J Ledley (Celtic), A Ramsey (Cardiff), D Vaughan (Blackpool); S Church (Reading), R Earnshaw (Nottingham Forest), C Evans (Sheffield United), F Eastwood (Coventry), S Morison (Millwall), H Robson-Kanu (Reading).