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Bellamy in Hammers vow

PUBLISHED: 11:31 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG THE Premier League season ended three weeks ago, but for Craig Bellamy the hard work has only just begun. The West Ham striker has finally returned to fitness in the past fortnight following eight months on the sidelines with an recurri

By JONATHAN CLEGG

THE Premier League season ended three weeks ago, but for Craig Bellamy the hard work has only just begun.

The West Ham striker has finally returned to fitness in the past fortnight following eight months on the sidelines with an recurring abdominal problem.

And while the rest of English football jets off on holiday for a month of sun, sea and sand, Bellamy is contemplating four weeks of blood, sweat and tears.

The Wales international has revealed that he will put himself through a gruelling training regime in a bid to hit the ground running next season.

"I haven't got a holiday planned because I'm itching to get back already," he said. "I'm going to carry on training and keep up with my fitness during the summer and I'm looking forward to a full pre-season.

"I need to keep going so that I can go back to West Ham next season in good shape."

The 28-year-old returned to action with two cameo appearances for Wales this week, winning his 50th cap in a 1-0 win over Iceland seven days ago and captaining the side as a second-half substitute against Holland on Sunday.

During an injury-ravaged season at Upton Park, Bellamy privately feared that he would never again resume his top-level career.

He was able to start just seven Premier League games during the campaign following his club record £7.5million switch to West Ham from Liverpool in July.

An attempted comeback was cut short in February and medical experts were mystified by the striker's persistent problem.

But Bellamy is convinced that the injury is now behind him and he has promised West Ham fans that their brief glimpse of him in claret and blue is only a taste of what is to come.

He said: "It's been a tough year - not just injury-wise, a lot has gone on off the pitch as well.

"But I've worked as hard as I ever have to get back to full fitness. Last week was my first appearance in I don't know how long and I am feeling great.

"I'm 28 now and if I really want to attack my career, I know I've still got the best couple of years ahead of me.

"This could have broken me if I approached my rehab in an easy sort of way and not come back at the level I wanted, so I really attacked it and I think it will pay dividends for me in the next couple of years.

"I'm just looking forward to training through the summer now - my wife wouldn't want me around the house all day anyway.


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