Michael Owen set for surgery

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/m/michaelowen.jpg' class='caption'> Michael Owen joined David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Gary Neville on the list of England players to have lengthy layoffs.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Michael Owen joined David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Gary Neville on the list of England players to have lengthy layoffs because of broken foot bones. England's World Cup team could almost be renamed Metatarsal United Owen limped out of Newcastle's 2-0 loss at Tottenham on Saturday and will be out of action for at least eight weeks after breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot. He hobbled away from White Hart Lane on crutches and Newcastle manager Graeme Souness said Sunday the striker will have surgery "sooner rather than later." Beckham, Rooney, Gerrard, Neville, Danny Murphy and Scott Parker are other England players who broke metatarsal bones. The injury appears to have cursed the team for three years. Beckham's injury happened before the 2002 World Cup and he clearly wasn't fully fit during the championship. Neville and Murphy were ruled out of that World Cup, Rooney got hurt while in top form for England during the 2004 European Championship. Gerrard missed two months of the following season. Parker was injured a year ago and never again played for Chelsea before moving to Newcastle in May. England defender Ashley Cole has been out since October with a stress fracture of his foot. Owen picked up his injury in a collision with national team goalkeeper Paul Robinson just before halftime. "There are no quick ways. It's two-and-a-half months or three months, I don't know what it is but it's the same for everyone," Owen said. "Loads of people have had it done - Rooney, Beckham, Gary Neville and Stevie Gerrard." Owen says the injury shouldn't keep him out of the World Cup and one positive aspect of being out of action until the last two months is that he shouldn't be burned out by the end of a tiring season. "Obviously I'm very disappointed for Michael. It's very bad luck for him and for Newcastle United," said England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson. "Michael is a fantastic striker and a very important player for his club and for England. I hope that he returns to fitness as soon as possible and I will follow his progress very closely." (AP)

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