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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 00:33 GMT 01:33 UK
Owen fit to face Brazil
England training session on Thursday
Michael Owen should be fit to face Brazil on Friday
England v Brazil | Quarter-final
Fri Jun 21 2002 | 0730 BST | Shizuoka
Live on BBC1 & Radio Five Live


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England coach Sven Goran-Eriksson has insisted Michael Owen is "fully fit" to face Brazil in Friday's crucial quarter-final tie.

Owen returned to training along with Paul Scholes on Thursday as the team prepared for the game in Shizuoka, Japan.

Owen injured his groin in the 3-0 win over Denmark and has received round-the-clock treatment from the England medical staff.

Scholes suffered a twisted ankle in the same game last Saturday.

"I think Michael and and Paul will both be available," said Eriksson.

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Everyone has seen how well Michael and Emile Heskey work together
Close Quote
Sven-Goran Eriksson

"Michael is okay. He's had some small problems with his groin but he has worked very hard and has had a lot of treatment and massaging.

"He is fully fit and it will not be a gamble to play him. It is a big boost to us.

"Everyone has seen in the past couple of games how well Michael and Emile Heskey work together as a partnership."

England's other recent injury doubts - Owen Hargreaves and Darius Vassell - were also able to train with the rest of the squad.

Their presence will be a massive boost for Eriksson ahead of Friday's quarter-final.

The England coach is now hopeful of having his entire squad at his disposal for the game in Shizuoka.

He added: "It is very nice to see all 23 of our players working on the pitch together.

"We came into the tournament with a few injured players and maybe things are clearing up for everybody at just the right time."


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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Mike Ingham
"Owen kept everybody waiting but did train"
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson
"Owen will start the game"
Brazilian legend Pele
"We have two or three players who can make the difference"
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