United hitman close to return

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Michael Owen could return to the Manchester United squad for Saturday's trip to Wigan.

The former England striker last featured in the FA Cup win at Southampton last month. Since then though, he suffered a groin injury in training that it was feared could rule the 30-year-old out for an extended period, possibly the remainder of the season.

However, the damage was not as severe as had been depicted and Sir Alex Ferguson said: "Michael is back training and could be available Saturday."

Owen was one of seven senior players to miss Wednesday's Champions League draw with Marseille at the Stade Velodrome, when Ferguson admitted: "Nothing happened."

Of the rest, only veteran winger Ryan Giggs is in contention to play, either at Wigan or in Tuesday's crucial clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

"The situation has not changed very much," admitted the Scot.

"We are trying to get Ryan fit."


Rio Ferdinand, who has not played since suffering a calf injury in the warm-up ahead of United's shock defeat at Wolves earlier this month, will sit out the Chelsea encounter.

"Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans will be available for next week, and that means the Liverpool game."

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Michael Owen
Premier League
Manchester United

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