Owen plays down World Cup fears


Michael Owen insists he will be ready for the World Cup this summer despite breaking a bone in his right foot during Newcastle's defeat at Tottenham.

The 26-year-old England striker broke his fifth metatarsal and could be out for “several months”, according to Magpies boss Graeme Souness.
Despite the setback, Owen remained confident the injury will not affect his preparations for Germany next summer when England face Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden and Paraguay in the group stages of football's biggest tournament.

“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 said.

When asked if the injury would affect his World Cup, Owen 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.”

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson will monitor Owen's recovery, with the World Cup just six months away.

He told the Football Association website, thefa.com: “Obviously I'm very disappointed for Michael. It's very bad luck for him and for Newcastle United.

“Michael is a fantastic striker and a very important player for his club and for England.

“I hope that he returns to fitness as soon as possible and I will follow his progress very closely.”

Souness lamented a “dark day” after Newcastle's €17million record signing collided with goalkeeper Paul Robinson as they contested a 50 50 ball just before half-time in Spurs' 2-0 win.

Souness said: “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. I can't tell you how big a miss he will be. It's an absolute disaster for him and for us.”

To make matters even worse for Newcastle, goalkeeper Shay Given could also be ruled out of Monday's Tyne-Tees derby with Middlesbrough - and possibly beyond - due to a suspected broken bone in his thumb.