Soccer-Lockyer back in Wales squad after heart surgery

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 30 Aug 2023

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Luton Town v Middlesbrough - Kenilworth Road, Luton, Britain - April 24, 2023 Luton Town's Tom Lockyer celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Matthew Childs/File Photo

(Reuters) - Luton Town defender Tom Lockyer has been recalled to the Wales squad for games against South Korea and Latvia as he has now fully recovered from heart surgery, the country's football association said on Wednesday.

Lockyer collapsed during Luton's promotion playoff final win at Wembley against Coventry City on May 27. The club captain spent five days in hospital and had an operation to fix an atrial fibrilation.

The 28-year-old returned for pre-season training at Luton after receiving the all-clear. He has played in the club's two Premier League games so far this season, and in their League Cup win over Gillingham on Tuesday.

"It's a great story. We all watched the events unfold in the playoff final. We were all concerned, but there has been nothing but positivity since that day," Wales manager Rob Page told reporters at the squad announcement.

"He has had some great news, he is back to normal and is now playing in the Premier League, which is unbelievable for him as well."

Lockyer was named in the Wales squad for last year's Qatar World Cup and for their two Euro 2024 qualifiers in March. He, however, missed two recent qualifiers in which Wales lost to Armenia and Turkey.

Wales play South Korea in a friendly on Sept. 7 before travelling to Latvia for a Euro qualifier on Sept. 11.

Page has named a 25-man squad for both fixtures and has included three uncapped players, Tom King, Morgan Fox and Liam Cullen.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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