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Owen will miss England's Euro qualifiers

LONDON -- Michael Owen will miss England's two Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia next month because of a torn groin muscle, according to his Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce.

The 27-year-old striker is travelling to Germany on Thursday to see a specialist who will determine whether he also needs hernia surgery.

The one certainty is that Owen will be sidelined for England's Euro 2008 Group E qualifiers against Estonia at Wembley on Oct. 13 and Russia in Moscow four days later.

"It will be three weeks out and he will miss England," Allardyce told Sky Sports News after Newcastle lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the League Cup on Tuesday.

He said the player had a three-centimetre (1.25 inch) tear in his adductor muscle.

Allardyce added: "Michael will probably need another operation but the specialist has not told us that yet."

Owen has been plagued by injuries since Dec. 31 2005 when he broke a metatarsal playing for Newcastle at Tottenham Hotspur which kept him out almost until the end of the season.

He then injured his knee playing for England at the World Cup finals, and missed all but the last three games of last season.

In July he injured a thigh in pre-season training and missed the first game of the season, but had scored five goals for England and Newcastle before tearing his groin.

He limped out of Newcastle's 1-0 defeat at Derby County last week and also failed to finish Newcastle's 3-1 win over West Ham United on Sunday.

England coach Steve McClaren is already without Emile Heskey, Owen's strike partner in the games against Israel and Russia, for the vital matches in October.

Heskey broke a metatarsal playing for Wigan against Fulham on Sept. 15.