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By ESPN Staff
Sep 2, 2008

Hammers striker Bellamy explains Wales absence

West Ham United's Craig Bellamy has explained why he has not joined up with the Wales squad for World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Russia after his initial selection left managers Alan Curbishley and John Toshack in conflict.

Bellamy played just nine games for Hammers last season after his £7million move from Liverpool because of a groin injury that eventually needed surgery.

And he missed the start of the current campaign with hamstring damage before appearing as a 68th-minute substitute and scoring to clinch West Ham's 4-1 win over Blackburn.

He was then called up by Wales boss Toshack but Hammers' chief Curbishley said: 'There's no way Craig is fit for international football yet - not after just 20 minutes back.'

Now Bellamy has told West Ham's official website: 'Me and West Ham and Wales all decided it was in everybody's best interests if I stayed at the club and continued my rehab after the hamstring injury.

'It was a bit tight even before I went on against Blackburn on Saturday and a bit tight, too, since then.

'Naturally I hate missing two important games for my country but I don't think my commitment to Wales has ever been in question.

'Hopefully I can get fully fit now and be available for West Ham and also the next round of (World Cup qualifying) matches in October.'

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