Michael Owen has been ruled out for the rest of the season following a hamstring injury picked up during Sunday’s Carling Cup final victory over Aston Villa. The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle forward pulled up during the first half on the heavy pitch and limped out of the action to be replaced by Wayne Rooney.
Scans have now revealed that the hamstring problem sustained by the 30-year-old will keep him out of action for the remainder of the campaign and will undergo an operation on Monday.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson clearly showed his disappointment when he said “It’s a bad blow, he’s out for the season. Unfortunately it’s more serious than we first thought.”
Ferguson went on to pay tribute to Owen’s professional outlook “It’s a terrible blow for the lad and is disappointing news, he has never missed a training session all season. The heavy pitch at Wembley on Sunday made some contribution to it but really it is just bad luck”
Owen has made 31 appearances for the Red Devils this season, scoring nine goals from 11 starts, with 20 of his outings coming from the bench. Although Owen did not mention the end any World Cup hopes he may have had, he is now looking forward to the start of next season.
“Unfortunately the specialist says I will miss the end of the season” said Owen “I have loved every minute of my first campaign with United and have already enjoyed some memorable moments. I am determined to come back at the start of next season in peak condition”
Owen became a popular figure at Old Trafford following a somewhat dubious reaction to his signing. He won over the fans by an exemplary professional attitude, never once complaining about the number of times that he was asked to start off the bench.
The highlight of his season was undoubtedly the sensational 96th minute winner over neighbors Manchester City after the game seemed destined to finish in a 3-3 draw.
Can Owen come back at the age of 31 next season?