Date: 8th October 2007 at 10:20am
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With many of us looking at his Lazarus like recovery with a degree of scepticism, especially following his outbursts about managing pain, Michael Owen has spoken out at those fans and his own boss, who believe he is taking an unnecessary risk to get himself fit for the key England v Russia game. Owen said:

‘Taking a risk? Not at all. No doubt the manager from here will say that and maybe the fans will say that but if I had to look after myself, I wouldn’t have made myself available for today. The surgeon’s advice is what I’ll look at more than anything else and she said that I can push it as hard as I want – it’s stronger now than it was before the operation.

To play a game eight days after surgery – I’ve still got the stitches in – I’ve put in a lot of hard work. I was disappointed not to start, I’ve been training fully since Thursday. I’ve not missed much training and I felt ready to start but the manager obviously wanted to leave me out and bring me on from the bench.’