Owen out after new injury setback

Michael Owen
Owen sits in the stands at Old Trafford after his substitution

Manchester United striker Michael Owen could be out of action for up to three weeks after injuring his groin in the Champions League win over Wolfsburg.

Owen limped out of Wednesday’s 2-1 Group B victory after only 20 minutes.

England boss Fabio Capello was in the crowd but the injury looks to have ended Owen’s chances of being selected for the match in Ukraine on 10 October.

“Groin injuries are difficult to say. He could be out two or three weeks,” said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

“His fitness levels are good so we shouldn’t need to worry too much about it. We will treat it as a normal groin injury.”

Ferguson also revealed that Owen had been troubled by his groin prior to the match.

“The amazing thing about Ryan (Giggs) is the incredible youthfulness about his performances
Sir Alex Ferguson

“He felt his groin after training on Sunday and he trained a little bit on Monday but had a rest day on Tuesday and he thought he was fine,” added Ferguson.

With England travelling to Ukraine for the World Cup Group 6 qualifier on 10 October, Owen’s latest injury once again puts pay to his chances of selection when the squad is announced next week.

England coach Capello is regularly quizzed on Owen’s chances of featuring for his country again and stipulates that the striker, who has scored 40 international goals in 89 caps, must be playing regularly to even be considered for a recall.

The 29-year-old has been trying to shake off his reputation as injury prone since signing for United on a free from Newcastle in the summer and was granted a rare start to prove himself in Wednesday’s match at Old Trafford.

However, his contribution was minimal before he limped off to be replaced by Dimitar Berbatov.

United though, had more concern in defence during the first half of the match as they looked uncharacteristically shaky against a lively Wolfsburg attack.

It was the German champions who eventually broke the deadlock in the second half through Edin Dzeko but United showed grit and guile to overturn the scoreline through goals from Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick.

Giggs’s goal was his 150th for the club and also means he joins Raul as the only two players to have scored in 14 separate Champions League campaigns.

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Ferguson was full of praise for the 35-year-old Welshman.

“The amazing thing about Ryan is the incredible youthfulness about his performances,” said the Scot.

“It’s as if he is just starting his career. He is continuing like a young man enjoying his football and it’s wonderful to see.”

Giggs himself chose to focus instead on the significance of the victory itself, which leaves United top of Group B with six points, three clear of both Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow, who beat Besiktas 2-1 on Wednesday.

“The goal doesn’t represent anything,” said Giggs. “Obviously I’m proud to do it but it was more important that we got back in the game so soon after they scored.

“We showed great character to come back.”

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