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By ESPN Staff

Bellamy faces race to be fit for Wales friendly

A make-or-break training session on Tuesday will probably decide whether Wales skipper Craig Bellamy figures in the friendly with Poland.

Bellamy did not train on Monday because of a swollen knee, and he will have intense treatment ahead of the match.

If Bellamy fails to train today, boss John Toshack is unlikely to take a risk with Manchester City's new £14m striker.

Bellamy flew out to Portugal with the squad from Cardiff with doubts already surrounding his fitness for the Poland match.

Toshack said: "Bellamy's knee is swollen. He travelled down from Manchester by road on Sunday and by the time he had got here his knee was causing him problems.

"It was no better when he woke up (on Monday). He is keen to play if he can get enough treatment but we will have to be very careful with him. There is no point taking any chances.

"But the fact he is here with us shows he wants to play, he does not want to stop now he is in such good form.''

Toshack has already lost experienced stars James Collins, Jason Koumas and Simon Davies, but is more than pleased with the youngsters who are expected to fill the gaps.

He is also delighted with the current form of Cardiff's Joe Ledley, who is still at Ninian Park despite a month of transfer speculation in January.

And Toshack believes Ledley can achieve his dream of playing in the Premier League with his home-town club.

"Cardiff have a great chance now, they are very resilient at home and I can see them nicking one of the top two places,'' he said.

"Joe is captain there now, I believe they have not lost while he has had the armband and he is a proud, local lad who wants to take his club into the Premier League.

"He has played a lot of games at a tender age and he can be well pleased with his consistency.

"I am pleased he is still at Cardiff after the transfer window. There was talk of Wigan, and Stoke prior to that.

"He was a little disappointed when the Stoke offer was rejected, he felt maybe he was ready to step up. But he knows now that he could get that step-up with his home-town club.

"We all hope that he does, and can lead them out at their new stadium. Everything could fall into place for him.''


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