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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Newcastle comeback delights Owen
Newcastle striker Michael Owen
Owen could play for England at Wembley against Brazil on 1 June
Newcastle striker Michael Owen says he feels he is "stronger than ever" after making his comeback from a long-term knee problem on Monday.

The Magpies lost 1-0 at Reading but Owen, who was injured during England's 2006 World Cup match with Sweden on 20 June, played for the whole match.

"I didn't expect to play the whole game," said the 27-year-old.

"I'll take it as a positive that I know I have come back twice as strong as when I left the field in Germany."

Owen came through the match unscathed and only played for the full 90 minutes because of injuries to Antoine Sibierski and Emre as Newcastle chased an equaliser.

"We had in our mind that I would play for about an hour," he added.

I've never turned down my country in my life

Michael Owen

"But with the way the game panned out, with a couple injuries and us needing to nick a goal, I was feeling fine and carried on.

"I knew I would be okay and the physio told the manager I could play 90 minutes, if needed. That is the way it transpired but it wasn't the plan."

Owen, who revealed he has put on 10lb of muscle during his lay-off, is now set to play against Blackburn and Watford in Newcastle's final two games of the season.

He is also likely to figure in England manager Steve McClaren's plans for the friendly against Brazil on 1 June - the national side's first game at the renovated Wembley.

England also play Estonia in a Euro 2008 qualifier on 6 June.

"It has been a long time but it has all been worth it now," said Owen. "I'm looking forward to the rest of the season and the next campaign as well.

"I hope to play for Newcastle in the next two games. That is the immediate thing.

"The summer will take care of itself and if I'm picked for England, I've never turned down my country in my life."

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30 Apr 07 |  Premiership
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22 Apr 07 |  Newcastle United


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