Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been omitted from Wales' 23-man squad for World Cup Qualifying matches against Austria and Georgia next month due to injury. The 25-year-old star has been sidelined since the opening weekend of the season after injuring his hamstring during the Gunners' 4-3 loss to Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.
Ramsey was one of Wales manager Chris Coleman's standout performers during their run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, where they were eliminated by eventual winners Portugal in Lyon. However, Ramsey has still not recovered from his long-standing hamstring injury as Wales seek to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had initially expected Ramsey to miss just a month of action, with his return coming in mid-September. But that prognosis now appears to have been wildly optimistic.
Coleman, on the other hand, previously suggested Arsenal were guilty of rushing Ramsey back into action too soon following his involvement at the Euros. "It's disappointing he's got an injury. Could it have been prevented? Possibly, yes," Coleman said of the Arsenal midfielder prior to Wales' first World Cup qualifier, according to the BBC.
"I think we all expected him to [miss the start of the season], so I don't know what happened between then and when he ended up on the pitch. Obviously only Arsenal can answer that. I think, to a man, if you were looking at Arsenal's team sheet, it was a bit of a surprise he started [against Liverpool]. I think Aaron said himself [in France] that he wasn't expecting to."
Fellow midfielder Jonny Williams – who also featured at Euro 2016 – misses the double-header through injury, too. The 22-year-old, who is currently on loan at Ipswich Town from Crystal Palace, is still sidelined with an ankle problem.
Meanwhile, Coleman has also revealed his sympathy for Sam Allardyce after he left the England job following a newspaper sting. The duo came up against each other during their coaching careers in the Premier League and Coleman has admitted to being "gutted" for Allardyce.
23-man Wales squad:
Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Owain Fon Williams, Ben Davies, James Chester, James Collins, Paul Dummett, Chris Gunter, Jazz Richards, Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams, Joe Allen, David Edwards, Emyr Huws, Andy King, Tom Lawrence, Joe Ledley, Shaun MacDonald, Gareth Bale, Simon Church, David Cotterill, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes