Bellamy building up to return

Alan Curbishley has reported good news as his squad look forward to the busy Christmas period.

Wales striker Craig Bellamy is undergoing intensive personal treatment as part of his rehabilitation from an abdominal injury - which the club's medical experts have decided will not require surgery. The 28-year-old has been missing since the 0-0 draw at Portsmouth on 27 October and there had been thoughts he might need to have an operation.

Curbishley sad: "To operate was the last resort really and the surgeons have agreed that it is not what we need to do. It has got to be a lot of hard work, which he is doing now. We have locked him away one on one with a physio and fitness coach to work as hard as he can and to try and recover that way."

The manager added that this process should take about a fortnight as Bellamy works on building up his groin and stomach muscles, with full credit given to the player for giving his all to get back. Similarly, the manager was pleased with the commitment shown by Kieron Dyer, out since breaking his leg at the end of August, and Julien Faubert, who suffered an achilles injury soon after joining in July.

"The good news is that Faubert has been given the all-clear to start next week and Kieron Dyer has been given the all-clear to step up and to do some light jogging," added Curbishley. Looking closer to this weekend's trip to Middlesbrough, the main worries were about James Collins and Luis Boa Morte, while Carlton Cole will be missing because of suspension - with the manager expecting to field a similar squad to that which played last weekend.