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Top pro Bellamy gives beach the boot

Craig Bellamy training 0809

Craig Bellamy training 0809

Craig Bellamy has given his holidays the elbow to make sure he is fighting fit for the start of the season after the quicksilver striker, 29, was forced out of the last six weeks of the campaign by a knee injury.

Wales skipper Bellamy, who fired five goals in his first seven games following a January move from West Ham, limped out of the UEFA Cup first-leg defeat in Hamburg and failed to recover for the Premier League run-in.

Optimistic hopes that the former Blackburn ace might still be able to bring his goal-power to the last two crucial games, with City chasing a seventh-place finish and a Europa Cup ticket, were eventually dashed.

But manager Mark Hughes, his former boss at Ewood Park and Wales, said: "I've spoken to Craig and he's running again, which is good news. He's talked me through exactly where he's at with his rehab.

"He's going to be working right through the summer and he's going to take no break, so when he comes back for pre-season he'll be raring to go. I'd expect no less - that's how he is. From a profesional point of view he's one of the best I've ever worked with."

Bellamy's injury also robs John Toshack of his captain next month. Ched Evans flies the Blue flag in the squad to face Estonia at Llanelli in Friday's friendly before the World Cup qualifer with Azerbaijan in Baku.

First Team News

Perfect day whets the Weiss appetite

Robinho and Vladimir Weiss 0809

Vladimir Weiss is still savouring his "perfect day" after his first-team debut against Bolton, but the up-and-coming winger is already planning to build on his Blues breakthrough next season.

First Team News

SWP fitness boost for England

First Team News

Berti's an all action City hero at last!

Glauber Berti 0809

Mark Hughes made the most popular substitution of the campaign as City's season eased to a close with the 1-0 Premier League win over Bolton ... he sent on Glauber Berti for a joyous farewell to Blues fans.