After almost two years out of the Wales squad through injury, Danny Gabbidon could find himself as captain tomorrow in the wake of the Craig Bellamy fiasco. The pacy forward failed to make the trip for the friendly in Montenegro, with Manchester City admitting they forgot to notify the Football Association of Wales (FAW) he was injured.

Therefore, John Toshack flew out without his skipper, not knowing the reasons until the flight landed yesterday afternoon. City finally explained the situation, but not until the Wales party had left Cardiff.

So, with Bellamy back in Manchester, and with stand-in captain Joe Ledley travelling but doubtful with sickness, Toshack may have to look to Gabbidon to lead the side. And that will be a major boost for the West Ham United defender, after battling back from complex abdominal injuries that have stopped him playing for his country for 21 months.

"It is good to be back, and be available for games after so long out," said Gabbidon. "I've had a couple of games, a few bits of matches and I am getting stronger by the day. I need games now, I had a short spell on Saturday against Napoli at the weekend and now I need more matches to help with my fitness.

People talked about whether I would play again, but I always had belief I would. When things are taken away from you, obviously you miss it.

Wales defender Danny Gabbidon, who has not played for his country in 21 months through injury

"I always felt I would get back to playing, how ever long it was going to take. I have been out a long time and people talked about whether I would play again, but I always had belief I would. I have done all the pre-season training and got back to some work at the end of last season.

"I have been out for so long I have great enthusiasm now. When things are taken away from you, obviously you miss it. Now I am back the squad has changed a lot with several young lads now. It is good to see them come through, the future looks good if they keep progressing. Maybe in a couple of years time if these lads keep progressing, we will start reaching major finals.

"It is disappointing Craig is not with us, he is obviously injured, but as our main striker he will be missed. Any team would miss someone of his quality. It is disappointing, but it now gives a chance to one of the young lads we have with us to come in and show what he can do."

City explanation
City issued a statement saying: "Craig Bellamy is continuing his fitness and rehabilitation work following a knee injury. He suffered a reaction following Saturday's game against Celtic and is therefore unavailable to represent Wales in this week's friendly against Montenegro.

"Craig's situation should have been communicated to the Football Association of Wales over the weekend, but a misunderstanding on the process meant this was regrettably not done until Monday. Manchester City have now made contact with the Football Association of Wales to clarify the situation."