Owen reassures nervous nation over fitness

May 10, 2006

England striker Michael Owen insists he is 'feeling fine' despite concerns he has not yet made a full recovery from a foot injury suffered last December.

The Newcastle forward broke his fifth metatarsal in a collision with Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson on New Year's Eve but since then has played just half an hour of competitive football.

Owen has very little time to prove his own match-fitness, with first-choice strike partner Wayne Rooney also in a desperate race to be fit for the finals after breaking the fourth metatarsal in his right foot last month.

But speaking to Sky Sports News before a tribute dinner in honour of Newcastle team-mate Alan Shearer, who has retired from the game, Owen had some encouraging words for England fans and manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

He said: 'I'm feeling fine. I've been out for quite a while but I've been training in amongst all that. I've had my problems over the last couple of months.

'I broke my (metatarsal) last year so it's not been such a `get fit quick' campaign with me (as with Rooney).

'Mine has been healed and ready to go for some time now, I'm just getting over the inbetweeny bits where you get a bit of discomfort after games.'