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By ESPN Staff

Owen insists he will play again this season

England striker Michael Owen insists he will play again this season as he continues to battle back from his serious knee injury.

Owen damaged knee ligaments during England's World Cup campaign in Germany and the Newcastle forward admits it has been a difficult time for him since.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid player, 26, is hoping to be given the go-ahead to step up his rehabilitation programme in the new year.

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Owen said: 'They have been difficult times in some respects. The one love and passion I've got outside my family has been taken away for the last few months.

'There is still a lot of work to be done until I am back out playing, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and I am looking forward to the day I return.

'Plenty of people have tried to set targets for when I will start playing again, but it really is impossible to say.

'We have not done any serious work yet or tested the knee. The turn of the year will be the important time for me but I am confident I can play again this season.

'It would be great if I could. It would send me off for the summer knowing I'm fit and everything is fine with the knee and that I can comeback as strong as ever.

'I've won a few trophies in my career and I would love to win more and obviously have a successful career with England as well. There is plenty to achieve.'

Owen also detailed the monotony of his strict training regime which involves daily exercises on bikes, rowing machines and the occasional work-out in a swimming pool.

He added: 'I've spent most of my time staring at four walls in a gym; walking on a treadmill with no end to it and on exercise bikes and rowing machines.

'If I am lucky, I get treated on a Wednesday to go down to the pool and do 50 lengths.

'Basically it is quite a grind. But I know at the turn of the year it will change. I have a scan then and as long as everything is knitting together quite nicely then we press on. I hope to start jogging in early February and then really kick on from that.

'It is a serious injury. But I am playing in an era where you have got the best surgeons, the best physios and doctors. This injury would have finished you 20 years ago.

'It is the most serious injury you can have as a footballer. I want to come back and be better than I was.'