No retirement plans for Bellamy

Last updated : 26 October 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The Welshman underwent surgery last week in a bid to beat his persistent tendinitis problem, but despite it being the fifth time he has been under the knife in his short career Sir Bobby has no doubt that he will soon be back in action.

"I've never had any doubts about Craig's long-term fitness," he told the Sunday Sun.

"In this particular operation, the surgeons haven't actually gone into the tendon, as they did with Alan Shearer. They've cleaned around it with Craig and the risk of complications isn't as great.

"But what Craig can't keep doing is not playing for us, going to Wales and playing and then coming back injured again."

Meanwhile, Bellamy has rubbished a report in the Evening Chronicle, which claimed that he plans to retire from international football.

"Missing the Wales play-off against Russia will be very difficult for me. But the lads are better having someone who is fully fit," he told Sky Sports.

"I will be back for Wales too. So ignore what you might read elsewhere, I am too young to be thinking about retirement!

"When I'm fit, I expect to be fit enough for the demands of Premiership and international football.

"For now, I just want to play for Newcastle - and Wales. I want to play at my best again and show what Craig Bellamy can really do. And, crucially, I want to play without pain. I look forward to that day."