Friday, 23 November 2012

Michael Owen's TV Work Is Not Delaying Return From Injury

Tony Pulis
Michael Owen's late night TV stints are not to blame for his slow recovery from his latest hamstring injury, insists Stoke boss Tony Pulis. 

Owen will miss tomorrow's clash with Fulham because of a hamstring issue that is taking its time to clear up.

And Stoke fans were stunned to see the former England striker turn up as a Champions League pundit in London on Wednesday night instead of resting his dodgy hamstring.

Owen got to bed just before 1am after being driven back to his Cheshire home.

At 12:48 he tweeted to his 1,677,820 followers: “Sleep time people. Good night all.”

But understanding boss Pulis reckons his striker's recovery programme is not being affected by his decision to take on media duties.

Owen has managed just 53 minutes since signing for Stoke in September as a free agent having left Manchester United.

The striker, who is on £25,000 a week, is yet to start a game and has made just four fleeting appearances as a sub.

But Pulis said: “He won’t be involved on Saturday, that was the reason he did it.

“He was in at 8.45 yesterday morning and doing stuff, he’ll talk to the physios and work with that.

“If he was going to be involved on Saturday, then it might have been a different situation. But he’s not.

“He has a driver, and he sits in a big car - he’s not the biggest man in the world so he can stretch out, sleep going down there and sleep coming back.

“It makes no difference.”

Pulis insists Stoke's medical men were right to agree to Owen's jaunt to the capital.

He added “Our record for injuries and getting people fit is excellent.

“We’ll certainly let him know if he’s doing things he shouldn’t be doing.”

Pulis initially hoped Owen was going to be fit for the Fulham clash, but now is not confident of naming him in the squad for the midweek clash with Newcastle.

He added: “We hope Michael will be fit for the Newcastle game, whether we involve him I’m not sure.

“But the West Brom game next week most definitely, fingers crossed, he’ll have 10 days of integrating into the group.

“We don’t want to just chuck him in, we need to integrate him into the group first.

“From that point we need to see how he goes, if he passes that next stage then we can get him in.

“When he felt his hamstring again it was a case of us pushing him a little too quickly.”

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