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Last Updated: Friday, 1 December 2006, 13:07 GMT
Surgeon optimistic on Owen injury
By Simon Austin

Michael Owen and Dr Richard Steadman
Steadman has stayed in regular contact with Owen
Renowned knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman is confident Michael Owen will be back in action this season.

Owen, 26, has credited Steadman with saving his career after undergoing two operations this year at the surgeon's famous clinic in Vail, Colorado.

Steadman told BBC Sport: "From what I've heard, he is doing very well in his rehabilitation.

"We carry out two operations in this type of case and the patient usually comes back to their pre-injury status."

The Newcastle striker has not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during England's World Cup match against Sweden on 20 June.

Steadman has performed two operations on Owen following the injury - in July he repaired lateral damage to the cartilage in the forward's right knee and in September he operated on the striker's cruciate ligament.

A good result isn't good enough for a top player - you need a great result

Dr Richard Steadman

The 69-year-old American has developed a reputation as the top knee surgeon in the world and counts Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Alan Shearer and Roy Keane among his previous clients.

Steadman explained that he had carried out two separate operations to give Owen the best possible chance of returning to the top.

"If you have a dual problem, my approach is to give people the best recovery from the injury with the slowest rehabilitation," Steadman said.

"Once that's accomplished, you do the second operation and have the rehab from that.

"The approach we've taken gives the best chance to come back at the highest level again.

"I've had a number of patients in a number of different sports who have come back successfully at the same level they were at before the injury.

"If you try to lump everything together, you may have a good result. But a good result isn't good enough for a top player - you need a great result."

Steadman used his "micro fracture" technique when he operated on Owen.

This involves using a device like a tiny ice pick to punch holes in the bone near the knee cartilage and is designed to speed up recovery.

Blood and bone marrow seep out, creating blood clots which release cartilage-building cells.

Steadman and his staff have remained in touch with Owen during his rehabilitation and Steadman has visited him during trips to England.



SEE ALSO
Owen realistic over fitness fight
26 Sep 06 |  Newcastle United
Owen given assurances over injury
18 Sep 06 |  Newcastle United
Owen sets sights on long career
12 Sep 06 |  Newcastle United


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