Owen hopes surgery will bring 'light at end of the tunnel'

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The Independent Football

Michael Owen headed for the United States yesterday determined to return to his best following surgery on his ruptured knee.

The 26-year-old faces a long haul back to fitness after the second of two operations by the noted specialist Richard Steadman, who will perform the procedure later this week. Owen has already had his damaged cartilage repaired and now Steadman will deal with the anterior cruciate ligament Owen ruptured a minute into England's World Cup group game against Sweden in June.

That could mean six to eight months out of action, if not longer, but Owen said: "I will be having the operation done in a couple of days, and I'm confident, with positive thinking, I will be back and as good as ever."

Owenhas played just 11 games for Newcastle United since his £17m move from Real Madrid in August last year. After spending five months out with a fractured metatarsal last season, he wants to return as quickly as possible.

"I was watching an operation on TV the other day of someone having their cruciate done, and it is quite a gory operation," he said. "But it needs to be done and I am looking forward to having it done and then having a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Since this last operation, it has just been biding time, really, until I have the major one done. At last, we can have the main one done and get on with the rehabilitation.

"To start with, I will just be trying to move the knee and get everything feeling fine. Obviously the time is going to be spent healing, but I will be trying to keep as fit as I can and as strong as I can so, when it is time to come back, I have as little time as possible in the reserves and in practice matches and get straight into what I want to be in, and that is the first team. Hopefully, I will be back and as good as ever."

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