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By ESPN Staff

Roeder plays down fresh Owen injury fears

Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder has played down fears that Michael Owen may have suffered a severe recurrence of his foot injury.

The £17million striker limped off at full-time after a 28-minute run-out in the 0-0 draw against Birmingham, which condemned the hosts to relegation.

It was the England international's first match since December 31 and his fitness will be assessed on Monday.

Roeder said: ``The medical department will decide over the weekend what the next step will be.

``Michael is not 100% happy with his foot. But I have to emphasise he is not that concerned.

``He told me he felt some discomfort when he wheeled away after five or six minutes.

``He said it was a dull ache, that is all.''

Owen only returned to training on Monday following a 21-match absence after suffering the injury against Tottenham.

Roeder added: ``I would not have taken a chance today and Michael would not have taken a chance if he had not worked so well this week.

``He did everything asked of him in practice and did not have a problem.''

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson will be hoping for good news on Owen, with fellow striker Wayne Rooney facing a race against time to be fit for the World Cup after being carried off with a foot injury in Manchester United's 3-0 defeat to Barclays Premiership champions Chelsea today.