Rob Page aiming to have Tom Lockyer back for Wales’ September fixtures
Rob Page expects to welcome Tom Lockyer back into the Wales squad in September after the Luton defender collapsed during Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final.
Lockyer was carried off on a stretcher after just eight minutes of the Hatters’ Wembley win against Coventry and remains in hospital.
But Luton boss Rob Edwards has reported the 28-year-old is “fine” and Wales manager Page said Lockyer was in good spirits during a 20-minute telephone conversation he had with the central defender on Monday.
“You are always going to phone your players and show them support,” said Page after confirming Lockyer would be absent from next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Armenia and Turkey.
“It was just to say that we are here for him, in any capacity.
“I am not going into detail of what’s happening or what’s going to happen. That’s conversations we are going to have with Luton Town Football Club.
“It would be silly of me to even suggest what those reasons (for his collapse) were and the most important thing in this is health.
“For us it’s just about getting him fit and ready for our camp in September.”
Wales, who picked up four points from their opening two qualifiers in March, travel to Latvia in September.
David Brooks has been recalled to the Wales squad for the first time since his cancer diagnosis.
Brooks, who was diagnosed with stage-two Hodgkin lymphoma while on international duty in October 2021, announced he was cancer-free in May last year.
The 25-year-old midfielder returned to club action for Bournemouth in March and started the Cherries’ last two Premier League games.
Page said: “I wanted to pick him in March. He played some minutes before that camp and I wanted to get him involved as soon as possible.
“But I get that it was too soon and it was more beneficial for him to stay behind and play for Bournemouth Under-23s in a game that was organised for him.
“Brooksy is definitely part of the changes I wanted to make post-World Cup and the way we want to play. He’s back fit, starting games in the Premier League and has the quality to be in our plans moving forward.”
Neco Williams is also included after fracturing his jaw playing for Nottingham Forest last month. The 22-year-old has not played since.
“He’s not played minutes because of the significance of the injury but he will be fit for camp,” said Page.
“You can’t take away every risk and I think he’s got a protection to wear for that reason.
“He’s so many weeks down the line so I’d think the opportunity of a refracture is very unlikely. We’ll get the medical team to assess him on camp and take away the risk as much as possible.”
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey (calf) and goalkeeper Danny Ward (dislocated finger) have also been named in Page’s 25-man squad despite fitness issues over the pair.
Skipper Ramsey has missed Nice’s last three games in Ligue 1.
Page said: “The little niggle, and that’s all it is, has probably come at a good time for him.
“He’s at an age now where he knows his body and how to manage it.
“He’s got one eye on these two games and it is not an issue. Aaron has played more football this season than he has done for the last few years.”
Bristol City youngster Joe Low has been called up into the senior squad for the first time to replace Lockyer.
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