Joe Ledley is set to begin Euro 2016 on the bench after Wales manager Chris Coleman admitted it would be “reckless” to start against Slovakia with three players who have been injured.
Ledley, Joe Allen and Hal Robson-Kanu have eased Wales’ injury problems by returning to training ahead of Saturday’s Group B opener in Bordeaux.
The recovery of midfielder Ledley is remarkable considering he broke his left leg on May 7 playing for Crystal Palace.
But Coleman will resist the temptation to name all three first-team regulars, with Liverpool midfielder Allen the most likely to start.
Robson-Kanu must continue to step up his fitness over the next few days to feature, while Ledley is set to be named among the substitutes.
“We can’t start with all three, it would be reckless really,” said Coleman.
“They have done really well, but we don’t have to do that.
“Joe Ledley has done so well to get back to where he is, but I think it is fair to say you can’t really see him playing 90 (minutes).
“But can he play a part? Yes. He is integrated with the rest of the team and done what the rest have done in training.”
Robson-Kanu suffered an ankle injury during Wales’ pre-Euros training camp in Portugal two weeks ago and his fitness has been a concern to Coleman and his management staff.
Allen was a late substitute in Liverpool’s Europa League final defeat to Sevilla on May 18, but has since been troubled by a knee problem.
But Allen is set to hand Wales a huge boost by being declared fit to play against Slovakia.
“Between now and the end of the season Joe has had more football, albeit on the training pitch,” said Coleman.
“He played a small part in the final. You would have to say Joe is further down the line in terms of being ready to start a game.
“And he is integral to how we want to play. He plays in that pivot role for us.”