Michael Owen is confident he will be ready to play a full part in Manchester United’s pre season plans. The experienced striker has been out of action since suffering a hamstring injury in the Carling Cup final on 28th February. The next day it was announced that he was to have surgery on the damaged area but he expects to be back in time for the start of the season.
That setback sidelined him for the remainder of the 2009-10 campaign and ended any hope he had of forcing his way into England’s World Cup squad. Owen is having secret training sessions at Manchester United to prove his fitness to Sir Alex Ferguson. He has been spotted at United’s Carrington training centre several times this summer as he is put through a punishing fitness regime.
The United striker, who scored nine goals for the club before picking up the injury is already running again. He has been given a weights programme to follow and is also doing some ball work as part of his recovery.
The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle forward has been working hard in his rehabilitation and is closing in on full fitness once more. Owen is pleased with the progress he has made over recent weeks and believes he will be ready to join in with the rest of the United squad when they return to training after the summer break.
“We are not in until the 5th July, that’s when everyone’s in, but I have been working through June because it would be nice if I could start and do everything with the team straight away” he told Sky Sports News. “It’s looking so far that I will be able to do that. Hopefully I won’t miss any of the pre season training as it’s always nice to get fully fit. I am working hard at the minute.”
As one who held some hope of going to the World Cup until his injury, Owen has been taking particular interest in England’s campaign in South Africa and was quick to jump to the defence of goalkeeper Robert Green for his howler which presented the USA with their gift equalizer. He insists that the 30 year old has nothing to apologise for after his mistake saying “I know Rob walked into the dressing room and held his hands up” he said “I wouldn’t have felt the need to apologise if I was him. He was just trying to stop a ball that squirmed around.”
“I’m all for accepting responsibility but if I got into positions as a striker, and missed three or four chances, I would have never come in and said to the lads ‘Sorry, the defeat was my fault, I should have scored all those chances’. That happens, that’s life, there’s no blame” is the way Owen saw the incident.
He went on to explain “Rob would have walked into the dressing room, felt everybody looking at him, and thought the world has collapsed around him. He won’t be able to think straight. Even if he has a great game in the next match he would be tarred for the rest of the tournament certainly and potentially, for the rest of his career for something I wouldn’t blame him for”
“The senior players must pretend the US goal never happened when talking to Rob” he said “Don’t mention it. Just look forward to the next game, take his mind off it as much as possible. No professional would blame Robert for what happened, that’s what happens on the world stage”
Well said Michael. Sad to say but it seems that only ultra professional footballers truly understand what the game is all about.
How important a role will Owen play for United next season?