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Caf Champions League Review

Football
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By ESPN Staff

Welcome boost as Owen comes through England training

Michael Owen pulled on an England shirt for the first time in seven months to give Sven-Goran Eriksson a World Cup boost.

The Newcastle United striker came through a full training session with his international team-mates with no apparent ill effects at their training camp in Portugal.

Owen has been sidelined since breaking a metatarsal in a collision with Tottenham and England keeper Paul Robinson at White Hart Lane on New Year's Eve.

His last involvement with England was when scoring twice in the thrilling 3-2 win over Argentina in Geneva in early November.

Owen has been restricted to just 29 minutes' action as a substitute against Birmingham at St Andrews last month since suffering the setback.

But he is pencilled in to play in the B international with Belarus at Reading on May 25 ahead of the warm-up internationals with Hungary and Jamaica at Old Trafford.

Five of Eriksson's 23-man squad - confirmed yesterday - were not present with strike partner Wayne Rooney continuing to receive treatment Manchester United for his broken metatarsal.

Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell will be in Champions League final action for Arsenal against Barcelona tomorrow, Steven Gerrard has been given a week's break after his exertions for Liverpool while captain David Beckham finishes his commitments with Real Madrid tonight.

Jamie Carragher, Nigel Reo-Coker, Peter Crouch and Owen Hargreaves were rested after their weekend exertions with Liverpool, West Ham and Bayern Munich respectively.

Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas and Charlton defender Luke Young - one of five players on stand-by - only participated in some light work after recent shin and ankle injuries respectively.

But there was a first training session with England for surprise selection 17-year-old Theo Walcott, who was not required by Arsene Wenger for the battle in Paris.