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Owen downplays concerns for World Cup after injury

Owen downplays concerns for World Cup after injury

England striker Michael Owen moved to calm fears about his World Cup availabity after breaking a toe in Newcastle's 2-0 Premiership defeat away to Tottenham at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Owen, widely seen as vital to England's hopes of winning next year's finals in Germany, failed to appear for the second half after a collision with international teammate and Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson and could now be sidelined for up to 12 weeks.

"It's disappointing but everyone gets their fair share, if there's any consolation I've got plenty of time before the World Cup," Owen told Sky Sports News. Asked if the injury would affect his World Cup, he replied: "Not from what all the experts are telling me.

"There's no quick ways, it's two-and-a-half months or three months, I don't know what it is but it's the same for everyone. Loads of people have had it done - (Wayne) Rooney, (David) Beckham, Gary Neville and Stevie Gerrard."

With the World Cup just six months away, England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said he would be monitoring Owen's recovery.

"Obviously I'm very disappointed for Michael. It's very bad luck for him and for Newcastle United," the Swede said.

"Michael is a fantastic striker and a very important player for his club and for England. I will follow his progress very closely."

Downbeat Newcastle manager Graeme Souness said: "It's a mighty blow. It's an absolute disaster for him and an absolute disaster for the club. It's a dark day for us."

He added: "Michael Owen has broken his fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He's had it X-rayed here and he will obviously be out for several months now.

"It's a similar injury to David Beckham's (in 2002). It's an almighty blow for us.

"Even when you're not playing particularly well, you feel that you can win games with Michael in your team."

Newcastle coach Alan Murray said Owen should know the full extent of the injury in the next few days.

"(The foot) might have to be pinned, which will prolong the recovery. We hope it won't have to be, but we'll have to have a look when it settles down. We are looking at eight to 10 weeks if things go well, longer if it doesn't."

Beckham recovered from his similar injury in 2002 and played in the World Cup, although he was not fully fit and appeared to short of his best form.

If Owen was ruled out of any England games, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Darren Bent would be in contention to replace him alongside Wayne Rooney, but none of them can rival his experience or goalscoring potential.

Owen has struggled with injuries in the past, suffering hamstring trouble at various points in his Liverpool career after first pulling up in a game at Leeds in April 1999.

Updated : 2021-05-06 09:19 GMT+08:00