Jones out of Wales squad

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The Independent Online

Mathew Jones, the 19-year-old Leeds United midfielder, has withdrawn from the Wales squad for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus in Minsk with a recurrence of the shin splints problem that blighted the final weeks of last season for him.

Mathew Jones, the 19-year-old Leeds United midfielder, has withdrawn from the Wales squad for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus in Minsk with a recurrence of the shin splints problem that blighted the final weeks of last season for him.

Jones had won a place in the squad after recovering from early-season injury, but after training yesterday it was decided to send him back to Elland Road for further treatment.

The Wales manager, Mark Hughes, will decide today whether to replace Jones.

Keith Gillespie has become the second player to withdraw from the Northern Ireland squad for Saturday's World Cup qualifying match against Malta. The Blackburn winger has an ankle injury and joins Neil Lennon on the sidelines.

The Northern Ireland coach, Sammy McIlroy, will decide overnight whether to call up a replacement from the Under-21 squad or his stand-by list.

McIlroy said: "Keith Gillespie is out. He picked up an ankle injury playing against Rochdale last week and he would not be ready in time. With Neil and Keith out, my squad is down to 18 and I'll be sitting down to decide what we do now."

Another Leicester midfielder, Muzzy Izzet, will miss Turkey's World Cup qualifier against Moldova in Istanbul on Saturday through injury.

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