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Page last updated at 22:24 GMT, Sunday, 22 February 2009

Magpies' Owen has groin operation

Michael Owen
Owen was replaced by Jonas Gutierrez after limping off against City.

Newcastle are confident Michael Owen will return to action in March despite the striker undergoing groin surgery.

The striker has been sidelined by ankle ligament damage sustained in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City last month.

While he recovers from that injury, Newcastle's medical staff opted to send him for the groin operation.

"It hasn't hindered or increased the time he's going to be out," interim boss Chris Hughton said. "We're hoping he'll be training within a week."

Despite the lack of official announcement in advance of the operation, Hughton insisted there was no reason to change Owen's targeted return against Hull away in the Premier League on 14 March.

"He has had a minor - very minor - groin repair which came in line with the period of time he is out with his ankle," added Hughton.

606: DEBATE
toonteen2

The 29-year-old England international is the club's top scorer this season having amassed 10 goals in 23 appearances despite spending large periods struggling with injuries.

He missed three games after straining his groin while training in October and the Magpies took advantage of the January transfer window to sign Peter Lovenkrands to bolster their attacking options.

Talks between Owen and the St James' Park hierarchy over an extension to his current contract, which expires in the summer, have been interrupted by a tumultuous term at the club.

Despite being offered a three-year deal, Owen has insisted that he will only make a decision over his future at the end of this season, when he could walk away on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling.

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see also
Newcastle 0-0 Everton
22 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Owen absent for up to six weeks
30 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
Man City 2-1 Newcastle
28 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Owen delays decision over future
22 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Owen talks delayed by 'turmoil'
06 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Barton ruled out for two months
17 Nov 08 |  Newcastle


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