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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Injured Owen called up by England
Michael Owen is recovering well from groin surgery
Michael Owen is recovering well from groin surgery
Michael Owen has been included in England's squad for their Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia, despite doubts over his fitness.

Newcastle striker Owen, 27, is still recovering from groin surgery but hopes to be able to face Everton on Sunday.

But coach Steve McClaren has named him in a squad which also includes West Ham's fit-again striker Dean Ashton.

England face Estonia at Wembley on 13 October and Russia in Moscow four days later in two key qualifying clashes.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard is also included, despite missing recent games with a thigh injury.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is back in the squad after recovering from a broken foot, and he is expected to replace Wigan's Emile Heskey, who has suffered a similar injury.

606: DEBATE
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McClaren said: "It's incredible Michael is fit. It looked an impossibility two or three weeks ago, but he has had the op, worked one-on-one with his physio and joins up again with Newcastle on Friday.

"Hopefully he will be fit to play for Newcastle on Sunday against Everton and then play in our two games.

"He says he is flying, feeling very very good. If Michael Owen is fit, Michael Owen will play."

McClaren has spoken to Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce and he has given the England striker the green light for the double header, where six points would see England virtually into next summer's finals.

Everton's in-form defender Joleon Lescott retains his place in the squad after being called up as replacement for Sol Campbell for the games against Israel and Russia - but the Portsmouth veteran is also included.

Russia coach Guus Hiddink has named his squad to face England, but Spartak Moscow Vladimir Bystrov is ruled out because of cruciate ligament damage.


England squad: Robinson (Tottenham), James (Portsmouth), Carson (Aston Villa), Richards (Manchester City), Brown (Manchester United), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Campbell (Portsmouth), Neville (Everton), Shorey (Reading), Lescott (Everton), Bentley (Blackburn), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Barry (Aston Villa), Downing (Middlesbrough), Young (Aston Villa), Smith (Newcastle), Owen (Newcastle), Crouch (Liverpool), Johnson (Everton), Defoe (Tottenham), Rooney (Manchester United), Ashton (West Ham).

Russia squad: Gabulov (Kuban Krasnodar), Malafeev (Zenit St Petersburg), Shunin (Dynamo Moscow); Alexei Berezutsky, Vasili Berezutsky; Ignashevich (all CSKA Moscow), Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg), Kolodin (Dynamo Moscow); Bilyaletdinov (Lokomotiv), Zhirkov (CSKA Moscow), Saenko (Nurnberg), Semshov (Dynamo Moscow), Zyrianov (Zenit St Petersburg), Torbinsky (Spartak Moscow); Arshavin, Pogrebniak (both Zenit St Petersburg), Kerzhakov (Sevilla), Pavluchenko (Spartak Moscow), Sychev (Lokomotiv Moscow).



SEE ALSO
Owen surgeon gives England boost
01 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Ashton in line for England call
02 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Hargreaves out of England games
02 Oct 07 |  Man Utd
Galaxy cautious on Beckham return
04 Oct 07 |  Internationals
McClaren backing national academy
03 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Heskey has surgery on broken foot
17 Sep 07 |  Wigan Athletic
Guide to Euro 2008
27 Jan 06 |  Internationals


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