American doctor to advise on Owen injury

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Newcastle United are sending Michael Owen to see the man who saved Alan Shearer's career to assess his knee injury.

The Magpies confirmed yesterday that the 26-year-old will travel to America within the next few weeks to consult the top specialist Richard Steadman.

A club statement said: "Newcastle United have been in touch with Dr Richard Steadman at his Colorado clinic with a view to him assessing Michael Owen's knee injury and deciding upon the best treatment for Michael. As a result, Michael and club medical staff will travel to America in the next few weeks to see Dr Steadman."

The statement added: "For the time being, Michael will remain in Newcastle under the supervision of United's medical team."

Owen ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during England's 2-2 World Cup draw with Sweden last week and is expected to be out of action for several months. Other players seen by Steadman include Alan Shearer, Henrik Larsson, Patrik Berger, Jamie Redknapp, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Craig Bellamy.

Newcastle's battle for compensation for Owen is likely to be fought out with the Football Association alone, following Fifa's announcement that their £6m insurance fund is designed to help poorer associations.

The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, had indicated that the FA may be able to apply on Newcastle's behalf for compensation for the injury to their £17m record signing. It is understood that the club will receive only a percentage of Owen's £103,000-a-week wages.

Newcastle, meanwhile, will entertain the Spanish side Villarreal on 5 August as part of their pre-season programme.

West Bromwich Albion have signed the former Wales international striker John Hartson from Celtic on a two-year contract.

The Chelsea defender Glen Johnson is close to a loan move to Feyenoord, according to one of the Dutch club's directors. The 21-year-old has visited their De Kuip stadium to look at the facilities and meet the head coach, Erwin Koeman, and is thought to have been pleased with what he saw.

Johnson, who has won five England caps, was the first player to be bought after Roman Abramovich took over in 2003, from West Ham for £6m. Johnson has also had interest from Southampton.

Wigan have completed their first signing of the summer, the Crystal Palace defender Fitz Hall. The Latics are believed to have paid £3m for the centre-back, who has signed a four-year deal.

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