2:02pm Thursday 31st January 2013
CRAIG Bellamy has returned to the Wales squad for their friendly against Austria in Swansea next week.
The 33-year-old Cardiff City striker has missed the first four matches of the World Cup qualifying campaign, but he has been included in Chris Coleman's group for next week's Liberty Stadium encounter.
Bellamy has not played for his country since the 2-0 defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina in August of last year, and his absence fuelled speculation he was set to step down from international football after 70 caps and 19 goals.
Coleman had called on the former Liverpool and Manchester City forward to make his intentions clear.
Although Bellamy has resisted his manager's calls on the matter, he has been selected after helping Cardiff forge a healthy lead at the top of the npower Championship table.
West Ham midfielder Jack Collison is another to return to the squad after being beset by knee injury problems since last appearing in the Gary Speed Memorial Match against Costa Rica almost a year ago.
Ashley Williams retains the captaincy, having taken over from previous incumbent Aaron Ramsey ahead of the October qualifiers against Scotland and Croatia, while Norwich striker Steve Morison misses out through injury.
Bolton's Craig Davies comes in to the squad as Morison's replacement while there is also a call-up for former Wales Under-21 captain Jazz Richards.
The defender provides cover with Gwent defensive pair James Collins and Danny Gabbidon both injured.
Gabbidon's Crystal Palace team-mate Darcy Blake also misses out due to being short of match fitness.
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey remains sidelined by a serious knee injury while Jason Brown is omitted after recently leaving Aberdeen in search of regular first-team football.
Coleman named a squad of 22, but could add an additional player after this weekend's league action.
Wales squad to face Austria at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday, February 6: Lewis Price (Crystal Palace), Boaz Myhill (West Brom), Owain Fon Williams (Tranmere), Ashley Williams (Swansea, captain), Jazz Richards (Swansea), Joel Lynch (Huddersfield), Sam Ricketts (Bolton), Chris Gunter (Reading), Adam Matthews (Celtic), Ben Davies (Swansea), Jack Collison (West Ham), Andy King (Leicester), Joe Allen (Liverpool), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), David Vaughan (Sunderland), Joe Ledley (Celtic), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Simon Church (Reading), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff) Craig Davies (Bolton).
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