Football

Owen: Injuries not a concern

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New Manchester United striker Michael Owen insists he is fighting fit and his injury-plagued past should not be a concern.

The 29-year-old on Friday night signed a two-year deal with the Barclays Premier League champions after swift negotiations which lasted less than 48 hours. A chequered history with injuries - hamstring problems at Liverpool, knee ligament issues at Newcastle - was thought to have deterred most of England's top clubs from considering signing the out-of-contract striker but United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had no hesitation.

"A lot is made out of it but I certainly don't feel like I'm injury prone," said Owen.

The England international believes his new boss was right not to be frightened off by reams of medical notes detailing exactly why he had spent much of his four-year spell on Tyneside on the sidelines.

The former Real Madrid forward is believed to have undergone an assessment on his troublesome knee in London on Thursday before travelling to Manchester on Friday for a more general physical check-up.

"I'd like to think that everyone was quite surprised with my medical," said Owen. "I passed my medical and I've obviously passed them before, and my fitness is high."

His manager will hope not as, if he can stay fit, Owen could still have plenty of goals left in him.

"Michael is a world class forward with a proven goalscoring record at the highest level and that has never been in question," said Ferguson, who is a long-time admirer of a player who scored 158 goals in 297 matches for Liverpool and struck 40 times in 89 England internationals.

"Coming to Manchester United with the expectations that we have is something that Michael will relish."

Owen will see his move to Old Trafford as a double challenge: first he has to show he can still score goals at the highest level and, second, he wants to use his higher profile to regain his England place with a World Cup looming next summer.

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Topics:
Internationals
Football
Michael Owen
Premier League
Alex
Manchester United
Liverpool

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