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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Owen surgeon gives England boost
Michael Owen has been on target for England
Striker Owen was on target for England in September
Michael Owen's surgeon believes the striker will be fit for England's upcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Newcastle's Owen, 27, underwent stomach surgery in Germany, which could have caused a hernia, and is recovering from a torn abductor muscle in his groin.

Owen is cautious playing Estonia on 13 October and Russia four days later.

But his surgeon Dr Ulrike Muschaweck told BBC 5live: "I think the game this weekend would be too soon but after that I hope he can play."

Muschaweck banished fears that Owen could risk aggravating an injury by returning to action so soon.

At the present moment he is not out

England manager Steve McClaren on Michael Owen

"The risk for re-injury is 0.2%, so next to zero," she added.

"The surgery went without any problems. Today is day two after the operation and he can start jogging.

"After five to seven days, depending on the pain, he can start training again."

England manager Steve McClaren will name his squad on Friday and is hoping Owen, and fellow doubt John Terry (fractured cheekbone), can join up with the squad.

"At the present moment Michael is not out," he told BBC 5live.

"We'll liaise with Newcastle to make sure that he is OK and hopefully he can join up with us and we'll take it from there."

McClaren added that he would contact Terry to check his progress after surgery.

606: DEBATE

Muschaweck, who has previously performed surgery on the likes of Alan Shearer, Steve Harper and Stephen Carr, developed the procedure undergone by Owen, which is specifically geared towards allowing a rapid return to action.

It reduces a natural rehabilitation period of up to three months to a matter of days.

However, Owen told the News of the World on Sunday that he remains cautious.

He said: "Medical advice will decide how quickly I'll be back but I'd rather remain cautious than set unrealistic targets. I don't want to tempt fate.

"In the back of my mind, before I had the surgery, I had focused on Newcastle's 22 October Premier League game against Tottenham - the first after the international break - for a possible return.

OWEN'S INJURY RECORD AT NEWCASTLE
31 Dec 2005: Breaks metatarsal at Spurs, misses several months
24 Mar 2006: Foot has still not healed, Newcastle announce he has had minor surgery to tighten a screw in his foot
29 Apr 2006: Returns against Birmingham but is in pain afterwards and misses last game of season
20 Jun 2006: Injures knee playing for England, misses all but last three games of following season
20 Jul 2007: Injures thigh in pre-season, misses start of season
25 Sep 2007: Sam Allardyce reveals groin tear and hernia concern

"Anything before that, including England's two Euro qualifiers against Estonia and Russia, would be a bonus.

"I shall cling to the hope I can play for England but people must accept that Newcastle have to come first at the moment.

"They pay my wages and I have missed far too many games since joining them to put them at the back of the queue as far as priorities go.

"I know it is going to be the subject of national debate as to whether I will be fit to help England qualify for next year's European Championship finals but let's adopt a little bit of caution and see how the next 10 days unfold."

Owen, who spent most of last season on the sidelines after damaging knee ligaments in the 2006 World Cup, netted three times in September's qualifying wins over Israel and Russia.

But he limped out of Newcastle's 3-1 win over West Ham and was also substituted during the previous game, a 1-0 defeat at Derby.

McClaren is already without Emile Heskey, Owen's strike partner in the games against Israel and Russia, for the two matches.

The Wigan striker suffered a broken metatarsal on 15 September but Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch are available again after injury and suspension respectively.



SEE ALSO
Shearer holds out hope for Owen
27 Sep 07 |  Internationals
England get 2018 World Cup boost
25 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Owen to miss key England matches
26 Sep 07 |  Newcastle United
Newcastle 3-1 West Ham
23 Sep 07 |  Premier League
Allardyce allays Owen injury fear
19 Sep 07 |  Newcastle United


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