Roeder: Owen return close
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Glenn Roeder is happy with the progress Michael Owen is making from his foot injury.
Newcastle United caretaker boss Glenn Roeder is happy with the progress Michael Owen is making from his foot injury.
The England striker has been sidelined after breaking a bone in his foot at the end of last year against Tottenham, which had thought to have put Owen's World Cup participation in doubt.
However, the former Liverpool front-man is working hard in training and could even be ready to make an appearance for The Magpies at the end of April against Birmingham.
Roeder expects Owen to definitely be available for the final game of the season against Chelsea and the news will come as a boost to Newcastle fans after strike-partner Alan Shearer looks likely to have played his final game in the black and white shirt.
"Michael's confident at where he is in training at the moment," said Roeder to Sky Sports News.
"He's doing plenty of running without a problem and strinking the ball as hard as he always does.
"We had more good news again yesterday from his consultant and surgeon and he can step out even more early next week.
"There's a chance he will be back in training with us and after that we'll have to wait and see whether he makes the bench for the Birmingham game.
"It would be fantastic if we can get him on the bench at Birmingham but if he doesn't, the way things are going at the moment we will have the green light I would have thought for the Chelsea game on the last day of the season.
"We haven't ruled Michael out of Birmingham and more importantly, having spoken to Michael, he's not ruled himself out of Birmingham, even playing some part."
Meanwhile, a final verdict on Shearer's knee injury may now not be available until Monday.