Williams fitness boost for Wales


Dinard (France) (AFP) – Captain Ashley Williams has given Wales a fitness boost ahead of their Euro 2016 quarter-final against Belgium after his shoulder injury turned out to be less serious than feared.

Williams was hurt in a collision with Jonny Williams during the closing stages of the last 16 win over Northern Ireland.

He played on in clear discomfort, and refused to come off even when James Collins was stripped and ready to replace him.

The 31-year-old left the Parc des Princes in a sling with an ice pack on the problem area, and still had it on when the Wales party returned to their base in Dinard, western France.

But manager Chris Coleman had a positive update on the Swansea defender’s condition ahead of arguably the biggest game in the 140-year history of the national side on Friday.

“We think it was when he fell after he collided with Jonny, landed on his hand with a straight arm which had a bit of an impact on his shoulder,” he said.

“He’s a bit bruised and sore but he’ll be fine. It wasn’t dislocated.

“He is a little bit more sore today than yesterday… We will get him on the grass as soon as we can although it probably won’t be for the next day or two.

“He is not a worry or a doubt. I would be surprised is he doesn’t make the game. We will look after him.

“I wanted to take him off because I thought he couldn’t move with his shoulder, and we had James Collins on the pitch ready to come on.

“But Ash being Ash he didn’t want to come off and we were right. He thrives on it. All players at top level want to play against top teams, where the excitement is, Ash is no different.”

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