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Thursday, April 15, 1999 Published at 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK

Sport: Football

Owen out for three months

Michael Owen - feeling the pain at Leeds

Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen will miss the next three months with a hamstring and tendon injury.

Jonathan Overend reports for BBC 5 Live
The teenager has discovered the shattering results of the scan on his right leg which reveals far worse damage than was first feared.

Owen will miss England's next three matches - the friendly against Hungary in Budapest on 28 April and the European Championship qualifiers against Sweden and Bulgaria on 5 and 9 June.

[ image: Man United's Ryan Giggs has struggled with hamstring injuries]
Man United's Ryan Giggs has struggled with hamstring injuries
Liverpool only discovered the real extent of Owen's injury when they received hospital reports on Wednesday.

Anfield boss Gerard Houllier said: "The scan has revealed damage to thehamstring and the tendon. It will take six weeks to recover from. And then it will take another six weeks after that to build up the strength in the leg again."

Houllier had already decided that Owen would be given a long rest to recover from the stresses of almost three seasons non-stop playing before he knew the full extent of the injury.

But now the Frenchman has no option but to write Owen out of his plans until next season.

The striker limped out of Monday's Premiership match at Leeds with a recurrence of the hamstring injury that has hit him twice before this season.

[ image: Liverpool and England will miss the strikers contribution]
Liverpool and England will miss the strikers contribution
It is a blow for England boss Kevin Keegan, who lost Owen from the Wembley qualifier against Poland last month following an identical injury picked in the 3-2 defeat at Derby on March 13.

The fear at Liverpool must be that after three hamstring injuries in six months he could have a long-term problem if he is not given a lengthy break to recover.

At Old Trafford, Manchester United's Ryan Giggs has had constant hamstring problems.

Houllier clearly feared the worst this week as he waited for the results when he said: "I don't want this to become a chronic problem for him."

Now the decision over when to rest Owen has been taken out of Houllier's hands and fans will not see him on a pitch again until mid-July at the earliest.

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