Owen to see hernia specialist

Newcastle striker Michael Owen will see a hernia specialist on Thursday to decide if he needs surgery to cure his injury problems.

Owen has been troubled by a groin injury for the last week and missed his club's League Cup defeat at Arsenal on Tuesday.

Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce believes Owen is likely to need the operation, which would rule the England star out for at least three weeks.

Allardyce said: "He has a 3cm tear in his abductor muscle and will see a specialist on Thursday to decide whether he will need a hernia operation or not.

"Whoever does the surgery cannot say whether he needs a hernia or not until they have seen him, unless they are magic and they can see over here from Germany and peer into his stomach and say 'oh by the way, you have got a hernia and need an operation on it'."

If Owen does go under the knife it would rule him out of England's crucial UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia on 13 and 17 October, leaving England coach Steve McClaren, who is already without Emile Heskey, facing a striker crisis.

Allardyce added: "He would miss England with his groin, so we might as well check up whether he needs a hernia op or not while he is out for two or three weeks with his abductor tear."