Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Thursday May 24 2007
So England`s Michael Owen gets to do what he`s been dying for since being carried off crocked in Deutschland back in June. Sheepteeth McClaren has named him in his starting line up for the England B international against Albania tomorrow night and with it Little Mickey gets to wear the Three Lions for something other than the latest Umbro promotional shoot. The team named is:
Carson, P Neville, King, Dawson, Shorey, Lennon, Barry, Jenas, Bentley, Owen, Smith.
So no spaces for Dyer and Steven Taylor who are named on the bench.
Meanwhile Owen has given an extensive interview about how he feels about coming back for England and whether or not there`s that element of doubt in his mind that he`s going to suffer a relapse:
"Am I worried? No, no, not at all. It only enters your mind if you have had an injury and you still feel something, or you are getting swelling in a certain area or if you pull a muscle, you are still feeling it tightening. That is when it enters your mind because it is sending a message from your body to your head saying you are still hurting. But, right from minute one, as soon as the swelling went down after my operation, I have sailed through rehab.
Every time I have been asked to step it up and do the next thing, I have done it with no problems at all. It has never swollen up. Unless you looked at my knee and saw a few scars, I would not have thought I have had it because it has been textbook right the way through. The only problem I had at the end was, unbeknown to most people, I was due to return quite a bit earlier than I did, but I had a small groin strain which kept me away. But it was still nice to play again at the end of the season and to be here again now.
You never know when you are going into a World Cup, but hindsight is a wonderful thing obviously and you would think the broken foot I had beforehand was a contributing factor to me probably being not as strong as I should have been. Being in a cast and being on crutches for a few months prior to the World Cup probably wasn't beneficial in the end. My muscles probably were not strong enough to cope with the force of playing and my knee went. But it is certainly not the case now - and it is probably a blessing in disguise as well. I am good at twisting things around to look for a positive in it.
I had hamstring trouble when I was younger and I had my broken foot, so it gave me a good opportunity to have a blank sheet and start again, and I have certainly done that. It has been frustrating. You never want to get injured, but it happens to most players in their career. Everyone gets injured at some point and it happened to me.
I think I have coped fine with it. I had the bit between my teeth as soon as I did it to come back and come back stronger. I do no think anyone is a good patient, but I have worked really hard to get back to where I am now and I feel stronger for it.'
Date:Thursday May 24 2007
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