Determined Owen: Injuries are part of past
New Manchester United striker Michael Owen insists he is fighting fit and his injury-plagued past should not be a concern to fans of his new club.
A chequered history with injuries - hamstring problems at Liverpool, knee ligament issues at Newcastle - was thought to have deterred most of England's top clubs from considering signing the out-of-contract striker but United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had no hesitation in taking what most consider a risk.
But Owen believes his new boss was right not to be frightened off by reams of medical notes detailing exactly why he had spent much of his four-year spell on Tyneside on the sidelines.
The former Real Madrid forward is believed to have undergone a rigorous assessment on his troublesome knee in London on Thursday before travelling to Manchester on Friday for a more general physical check-up.
"I'd like to think that everyone was quite surprised with my medical," said Owen. "I passed my medical and I've obviously passed them before, and my fitness is high.
"A lot is made out of it but I certainly don't feel like I'm injury prone."
His manager will hope not as, if he can stay fit, Owen could still have plenty of goals left in him.
"Michael is a world class forward with a proven goalscoring record at the highest level and that has never been in question," said Ferguson, who is a long-time admirer of a player who scored 158 goals in 297 matches for Liverpool and struck 40 times in 89 England internationals.
"Coming to Manchester United with the expectations that we have is something that Michael will relish."
Owen and Ferguson agreed the deal after a hastily-arranged breakfast meeting on Thursday.
"I had just begun to talk to other clubs when out of the blue Sir Alex phoned me on Wednesday afternoon, invited me to have breakfast with him next morning during which he told me that he wanted to sign me," said Owen.
"I agreed without a moment's thought. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I intend to seize it with both hands.
"I've had a poor spell up at Newcastle but prior to that my career was very good, and I'm sure a top club like this can re-ignite my career.
"I want to thank Sir Alex for the faith he has shown in me and I give him my assurance that I will repay him with my goals and performances."