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Ill Owen expected to miss both England friendlies

Michael Owen is expected to miss England's two friendlies next week after coming down with a virus, the Football Association announced today.

The Newcastle striker was unable to report for England duty this morning and is set to miss both matches against the USA on Wednesday and Trinidad and Tobago the following Sunday.

Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas is also out of the squad with an ankle problem.

The players involved in the Champions League will report for duty tomorrow, and David Beckham on Sunday after his match for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

All the other members of Fabio Capello's squad have reported for duty and started training today.

Jenas did turn up but after his ankle problem was examined by England medical staff he was sent home.

Owen's absence will hand a chance to several England hopefuls to make a name for themselves - Arsenal's Theo Walcott, West Ham's Dean Ashton, Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor and Portsmouth's Jermain Defoe are all in the squad as well as England regulars Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch.

England are playing the USA at Wembley before travelling to the West Indies to face World Cup 2006 opponents Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain.

A statement said: 'Ahead of England's friendlies against USA and Trinidad and Tobago, the England squad has seen two changes.

'Michael Owen was unable to report due to an infectious virus and is expected to be out for both games, while Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas reported with an ankle injury and has returned home.

'The nine players from Manchester United and Chelsea who were involved in the Champions League final in Moscow on Wednesday evening, will report for England on Saturday.

'David Beckham will report on Sunday, after LA Galaxy's game with Kansas City on Saturday.'


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