'I should never have gone to World Cup,' admits Owen

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The Independent Football

England striker Michael Owen has admitted he should not have gone to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

The Newcastle frontman battled to make himself available for his country after fracturing a metatarsal in a clash with Tottenham's Paul Robinson.

He had played just 20 minutes of football for his club before joining up with his international colleagues, and with hindsight, now believes the injury problems that have followed are a result of his efforts to play in Germany.

Owen, who suffered a knee injury during the finals which sidelined him for 10 months, said: "There is no hiding from the fact injuries have been the bane of my time at Newcastle. It is frustrating. However, and people will probably laugh, but I know I'm not injury-prone.

"Loads of people get metatarsal injuries, but they are normally not as bad as mine. I then rushed my preparations for the World Cup. I played half a game for Newcastle.

"With hindsight, I should never have gone to Germany with England. It's easy to say that now, but if I had my time again, I would still have gone because it was a World Cup."

Owen returned from his latest injury – ankle ligament damage – in his club's 1-1 Premier League draw at Hull on Saturday.