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Page last updated at 09:03 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Vale's Owen suffers cheek injury

Gareth Owen
Defender Gareth Owen has started every match for Port Vale this season

Port Vale manager Micky Adams fears defender Gareth Owen may have fractured his cheekbone in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat at Bradford on Tuesday.

Owen, 27, was injured in a clash with Bantams defender Matthew Clarke in the first half at Valley Parade.

"He'll have a scan in the morning," Adams told BBC Radio Stoke. "It looks as though he may have a fractured cheekbone but it's too early to say."

Vale were knocked out 5-4 on penalties, having drawn 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Owen, who signed on a free transfer from Stockport in January after an initial loan spell at Vale Park, has started every game for the Valiants this season.

Louis Dodds, Kris Taylor and Adam Yates all had their efforts saved from 12 yards, after Rob Taylor had taken the tie to penalties with a well-taken goal 15 minutes from time.

"Our programme in the next three weeks is very difficult. We've got six games in three weeks," said Adams.

"I really wanted to give some of the fringe players a game tonight to get them up to first-team speed in case we need them, and Rob's been itching to play, so why not play him?"

Adams was in charge of the Brighton side that lost in a shootout to eventual winners Luton in the southern section final last season.

"I'm getting used to this penalty malarkey," he continued. "It's great entertainment for supporters, but it's rubbish for managers."

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