Owen on course for Magpies return

Michael Owen is hoping to play a part in at least the last month of Newcastle’s Premiership campaign after stepping up his recovery from a toe injury.

The 26-year-old England striker broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot in the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham on New Year’s Eve, but he has now regained a greater level of mobility after having a protective boot removed.

He told the club’s official website www.nufc.co.uk: “My recovery is going well. I have been on the exercise bike and can walk around in my trainers. Hopefully I will be able to start gently on the treadmill soon.

“The surgeon seems very happy that the pin is still in place and I want to be back for at least a month of the season.

“Climbing up the table is obviously the priority and the FA Cup still gives us a shot at silverware.”

Owen’s injury was one of many that left Graeme Souness – sacked by the club on Thursday – short of numbers.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid frontman has scored seven goals in his 10 Premiership starts for the Magpies to date.

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