Collison adds to Toshack woe

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Wales boss John Toshack has suffered another savage blow with the loss of West Ham midfielder Jack Collison from his depleted squad.

It means that four players have been forced to withdraw from the party that travels to Azerbaijan in 24 hours following injuries to Gareth Bale, Ched Evans and Sam Ricketts.

It leaves Toshack with a squad of just 19 for the trip to Baku for Saturday's World Cup qualifier, including three goalkeepers.

The only addition to the travelling party has been Swansea winger Shaun MacDonald, 20.

When the squad re-assembled at their Slough hotel near Heathrow on Monday, Collison's knee injury - aggravated against Estonia on Friday - received a thorough examination by the Wales medical team and it was decided that he would travel to Baku, and that Toshack would consider his fitness after more treatment.

But Collison trained with the Wales squad at Bisham Abbey on Tuesday, and afterwards it was decided that he would not be fit enough to travel.

Football Association of Wales spokesman Ceri Stennett said: "A five-hour-plus flight would certainly not have helped Jack's knee, and it was clear after training that there was no point taking a risk with him."

Tottenham defender Bale had, it is believed, picked up a cartilage injury following an accident while he was at home with his parents in Cardiff on Sunday.

Hot on the heels of that blow, Manchester City youngster Ched Evans pulled out following a scan on a back injury he received against Estonia.

Then Hull defender Ricketts withdrew with a back problem that had kept him out of the Estonia game, amid hopes that he would be fit to face Azerbaijan.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester City
Premier League
Cardiff City
Sam Ricketts
Jack Collison
John Toshack
Gareth Bale
Hull City
Ched Evans
Swansea City
Shaun MacDonald

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