Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen in Wales squad for World Cup qualifiers
Joe Allen has been included in the Wales squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Scotland and Croatia.
Last Updated: 13/03/13 9:12pm
The former Swansea man is struggling with a shoulder injury which will require surgery, according to his club manager Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool will have the final word on when the operation will take place but he will be available as Wales look to build on last month's 2-1 friendly win over Austria.
Manager Chris Coleman said: "We have not heard anything from Liverpool, so we have selected him. We have not been told that anyone apart from Adam Mathews is not available, so we have selected Joe. We have to pick our strongest squad and Joe is part of it."
Gareth Bale is also included, with Coleman hoping to see a continuation of his excellent club form, which has delivered 11 goals in his last 10 games for Tottenham.
Celtic full-back Matthews misses out against Scotland with the hamstring injury he picked up in last week's Champions League game against Juventus, but Coleman has not given up hope of him featuring against Croatia.
"I thought Adam was outstanding against Austria and he really is developing into a fine young player, so it's disappointing," he said.
"He has an extra three or four days which with the injury could make a big difference."
Craig Bellamy is included and Coleman added: "It was nice to have Craig back for the Austria game. There are not many defenders who will relish playing against him."
Wales - with three points from four games - face Gordon Strachan's Scotland at Hampden Park on Friday 22 March before tackling Croatia in Swansea on Tuesday 26 March.
WALES squad for World Cup qualifiers against Scotland and Croatia;
GOALKEEPERS: Glyn Myhill, Lewis Price, Owain Fon Williams.
DEFENCE: Ben Davies, James Collins, Chris Gunter, Ashley Richards, Joel Lynch, Sam Ricketts, Ashley Williams.
MIDFIELD: Joe Allen, Jack Collison, Andy King, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, David Vaughan, Jonathan Williams.
FORWARDS: Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy, Simon Church, Steve Morison, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes.