Despite Michael Owen claiming he is 'raring to go', Tony Pulis puts striker's return on hold
Stoke striker has not played since October, and is yet to start a game for the Potters
Thursday 13 December 2012
Michael Owen's hopes of receiving a welcome birthday present from Stoke manager Tony Pulis have been put on hold.
Owen declared himself "raring to go" after coming through 70 minutes of a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday in a bid to step up his fitness after struggling with groin and hamstring niggles.
Ahead of Saturday's visit of Everton to the Britannia Stadium, there was the prospect of Owen making his first appearance for Stoke since October 27, the last of his four substitute outings since joining the club at the start of September.
But ahead of the former England striker's 33rd birthday tomorrow, Pulis says Owen still needs at least another week of fitness work and another reserve outing before he can be thrown into the first team.
Pulis said: "Michael did smashing on Tuesday, came through 70 minutes, but he needs more work on the training ground, a bit more strength
"He needs another couple of weeks of full training, another game or two first before we chuck him back in.
"That's because every time we've tried to get him in there he has broken down, and maybe that's because we've tried to push him a little bit."
Pulis, meanwhile, has reacted with scepticism to the prospect of netting being erected at football grounds around the country.
The idea was suggested by Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor in the wake of Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand being hit by an object thrown from the crowd in Sunday's derby victory at Manchester City.
Pulis said: "There were 50-odd thousand people there and we had a mindless few who caused a problem.
"All the time it's about finding a balance because I thought it was a fantastic game, soured by a couple of incidents off the pitch, which was disappointing.
"But netting? I'm not sure that's the right way of doing it.
"With the cameras and monitoring we have at grounds today, these people will hopefully be found and then banned from football for the rest of their lives.
"If you do that, it's a great deterrent to stop these people from doing it again."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Arsenal player ratings vs Besiktas
Besiktas vs Arsenal player ratings: Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers - who was the Gunners star man?
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head