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By ESPN Staff

'Owen will return this season' - Roeder

Newcastle caretaker manager Glenn Roeder said today he is 'confident' England striker Michael Owen will play for the Magpies again this season.

The 26-year-old today put a pair of boots on for the first time since suffering a fractured metatarsal when colliding with England team-mate Paul Robinson in a Premiership clash with Tottenham on New Year's Eve.

And Roeder maintains Owen will be fit before the end of the season, raising hopes he will line up for England in this summer's World Cup.

Roeder told a press conference televised on Sky Sports News: 'It's onwards and upwards again for Michael and I'm confident he will play for Newcastle before the end of the season.'

Roeder revealed details of the £16million striker's first steps on the comeback trail.

He continued: 'He put his boots on for the first time today and worked with our physio and fitness coach.

'Everything went well and he's happy. Everyone's having a stab in the dark about when Michael will be fit again.

'If he doesn't make the target there is hysteria around the country because he's so important to our chances of winning the World Cup.

'But we are confident he will be involved (for Newcastle), although whether its the second last game of the season or the last we don't know.

More to follow...