Owen hamstring concern
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Newcastle's Michael Owen has hurt his hamstring during a practice match.
Michael Owen has hurt his hamstring during a practice match ahead of the North East derby on Sunday.
The Newcastle United striker lasted only 20 minutes of the training game and is rated doubtful for the PremPlus encounter with Sunderland.
As it is an area where the former Liverpool star has suffered problems in the past, it will be of some concern to manager Graeme Souness.
Although it is believed the withdrawal of the big-money signing from Real Madrid was a precautionary measure, it leaves him facing a race against time to be ready to take part in the frenzied atmosphere of the Tyne-Wear derby.
It is the latest injury setback for Souness to contend with after defender Craig Moore failed to come through a reserve team outing with Birmingham unscathed.
"There is a doubt about him," the Magpies boss told Newcastle's official website. "But we are hopeful.
"We are hoping he is going to be available for Sunday, but obviously with hamstrings being what they are, we cannot take any chances."
Deputy goalkeeper Steve Harper also picked up a knock but it is the Owen injury which will be most pressing for The Magpies.