Bellamy withdrawn from Wales squad

September 1, 2008

West Ham striker Craig Bellamy has been withdrawn from the Wales squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Russia.

The 29-year-old managed only a handful of appearances last season because of injury and missed the start of the current campaign with a hamstring problem.

Bellamy returned to action for the Hammers when he came off the bench to score during the 4-1 win over Blackburn at Upton Park on Saturday.

However, it has now been decided the striker will remain in London during the international break.

A statement from the Football Association of Wales read: 'After discussions between the managers, John Toshack and Alan Curbishley, of West Ham, and the player Craig Bellamy, it has been mutually agreed that in the interests of all parties, the player will continue his rehabilitation plan at his club.'

The news will come as welcome relief to West Ham boss Curbishley, who was unhappy at the £7million former Liverpool striker risking another setback.

Speaking at the weekend, Curbishley said: 'No way is Craig fit for international football. I have told him and John Toshack exactly that, even though he has called Craig up.

'Craig has just come back and 20 minutes was all he could do. Even then he kept asking me to wait and wait.'