Manchester United Striker Michael Owen’s self-confessed ‘long-shot’ hopes of making this summer’s World Cup have been dealt an unfortunate knockout blow as the extent of his injury is revealed.

The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle United forward sustained a hamstring injury just Manchester United’s Carling Cup final victory at Wembley on Sunday. After scoring the opener, Owen limped off just before half time after appearing to jar his hamstring whilst chasing a ball into the penalty area.

This, unfortunately, could mean that Umbro Football boots are left drastically under-represented at this year’s World Cup, despite a hugely successful campaign for the Speciali last year.

United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson suspects the oft-criticised Wembley pitch may have played a part in his summer acquisition’s injury:

“It’s a bad blow – he’s out for the season.” Stated Ferguson on Friday morning. “Unfortunately it’s more serious than we thought. He will be operated on on Monday morning.

“It’s a terrible blow for the lad and is disappointing news for us too, He has never missed a training session all season.

“I think the heavy pitch at Wembley on Sunday made some contribution to it but really it is just bad luck.”

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