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Scottish Mag

Owen setback worries allayed

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There has been no setback for Michael Owen. This was the message loud and clear from Newcastle United today as the countdown to Owen's hoped-for comeback against Chelsea at St James' Park starts in earnest.

 

Middlesbrough have reported a massive interest from the media for their Reserve match with Lee Clark's second string at their Riverside Stadium tonight in anticipation of United's £17m man being in action.

 

United boss Glenn Roeder told me today: "While Shola Ameobi will be at the Riverside tonight I have decided not to play Michael Owen. But any talk of him having a setback is complete and utter rubbish."

 

Owen has worked very hard recently for United, none more so than last week, culminating with his 70-minute appearance and goal against Greta in a match at the club's training ground on Wednesday.

 

He was given a weekend off by Roeder but he was back today working with the man he owes so much to - rehabilitation expert John Green, who got Kieron Dyer back in harness.

 

The London-based Green was on the first plane out of Stansted this morning and was waiting to start working with Owen when he reported for training.

 

A decision on whether Owen will be involved against his England colleagues John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Joe Cole on Sunday will be made by Roeder later in the week.

 

Obviously the sight of Owen on the field against Chelsea and maybe grabbing a goal would be a massive boost to the United supporters and give them some hope for next season.

 

Those fans among the 20,000 who greeted Owen when he arrived in the summer of 2005 will find it hard to believe they have only seen him on another four occasions at St James' Park in the games against Fulham, Manchester City, Birmingham City, and Arsenal.

 

And his winner against Manchester City is his only goal for United at St James' Park.

 

Now those fans will have to wait for Roeder's decision - but the fact that Owen is not playing tonight does not mean he is ruled out on Sunday.

 

For Alan Shearer never played for the Newcastle United Reserves during any of his numerous comeback bids.

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For Alan Shearer never played for the Newcastle United Reserves during any of his numerous comeback bids.

 

 

not a good thing imo

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