Owen injured for up to three weeks

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MANCHESTER - Manchester United striker Michael Owen is set for three weeks on the sidelines after suffering a recurrence of a groin problem in the 2-1 Champions League victory over VfL Wolfsburg on Wednesday.

Owen, 29, had been hoping for a recall to Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and Belarus next month.

The striker picked up a groin injury over the weekend but had declared himself fit for the game against Wolfsburg but he was forced off after just 20 minutes.

"He felt his groin after training on Sunday and he trained a little bit on Monday but had a rest day on Tuesday and he thought he was fine," United manager Alex Ferguson told reporters.

"But groins are groins and on a wet surface he turned quickly and it's gone again so we had to take him off.

"It's not a serious one but groin injuries can be troublesome and maybe two to three weeks. The only good part of it is his fitness levels are very good so he shouldn't need to worry too much about that."

A three-week injury would rule Owen out of the Premier League games against Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers – but also out of Fabio Capello's England squad for the qualifiers against Ukraine and Belarus.