Manchester United's Michael Owen has been ruled out of action for anything up to six weeks, which means that United will be struggling to get him fit for the Christmas rush of games.
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England manager Fabio Capello has described Michael Owen as his "tormentor".
The Italian has continued to leave the Manchester United striker out of his squads even though the 29-year-old has scored 40 goals for his country, more than any of his rivals.
Manchester United striker Michael Owen is set to return to full training having missed Saturday's match against Sunderland with a groin injury.
Owen came off with the problem during Wednesday's game against Wolfsburg and it was initially feared he would be sidelined for three weeks.
"I'm back in training from Tuesday," the 29-year-old told At The Races.
Michael Owen's World Cup dream has suffered a major setback after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the striker would be out for "two to three weeks" with a groin injury.
Michael Owen has dubbed Manchester United "probably the biggest club in the world" - comments that are likely to anger his former Liverpool fans.
Michael Owen is under no illusions that he will receive a hostile reception at Anfield when he returns to Liverpool next weekend.
Former Liverpool hero Owen returns to Anfield for the first time with Manchester United next Sunday since his surprise switch to Old Trafford.
Jamie Carragher has warned former Liverpool team-mate Michael Owen to expect a hostile reception from fans when he returns to Anfield.
There was a time that Michael Owen was revered at Anfield and then there was a time that he was booed and so for Michael Owen, trips back to his old club always carry a certain amount of emotional attachment for him.