WREXHAM star Mark Jones has received the perfect birthday present after being promoted to John Toshack's full Wales squad.
But the Wales manager's hopes of a morale-boosting victory in Wednesday's Swansea friendly against Slovenia have been hit by news that both captain Ryan Giggs and striker Craig Bellamy are rated as doubtful starters.
Jones, 21 today, had been expecting to play for Brian Flynn's under-21 side against Malta tomorrow, but instead has a chance of winning his first senior cap following the withdrawal of Cardiff's Jason Koumas, who picked up a hamstring strain during Friday's 3-1 defeat by Watford.
Last night he said: "I didn't know about it until I arrived at our hotel at lunch-time and it's come as a bit of a shock, but I'm delighted.
"It's a nice way to celebrate my 21st birthday and I'm just looking forward to working hard in the next couple of days to impress the boss.
"We've had a light training session this evening, which allowed me to meet those players who were not on the trip to Spain in May, and now I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
"I phoned the family and my dad said he is definitely coming down to watch it, so I hope I get the opportunity to play some part in the game."
Wrexham-born Koumas is one of four definite non-starters in the squad announced by Toshack last week for Wales' final get-together before they face World Cup Group six leaders England in just over two weeks' time..
Ipswich goalkeeper Lewis Price, who was in line for his first senior cap, was carried off with a badly-gashed knee in his side's 0-0 draw at Leicester, while defenders James Collins of West Ham and Aston Villa's Mark Delaney did not play at the weekend due to a calf strain and knee injury respectively.
Another high-profile absentee for his club on Saturday was Giggs, who sat out Manchester United's 2- 0 victory over Everton because of a chest infection.
The Old Trafford star will make a decision on his fitness today but is unlikely to risk aggravating the illness.
And recent Blackburn recruit Bellamy is also a major doubt for Wednesday. He needed an injection in an ankle to play in his side's 3-1 defeat at West Ham and his fitness will be monitored over the next 24 hours at the Wales team HQ.
In addition to possible debutant Jones, Toshack has called up Cardiff's Paul Parry and goal-keeper Martyn Margetson as cover for Burnley's Danny Coyne and veteran Paul Jones of Wolves.
As well as losing Jones from his squad, Under-21 boss Flynn will be without Wrexham's Matt Crowell (knee), Southampton's Kyle Critchell (cruciate ligament) and Joe Ledley of Cardiff (hamstring). In come former Bangor City star Owain Tudor-Jones, now with Swansea City, and Ninian Park trio, Curtis McDonald, Joe Jaconson and Jamal Easter.