On the verge: Owen (left) is now one appearance from the coveted 10 for a league winners medal after his brief cameo at St.James' Park
Rules state players must make 10 appearances to qualify for a medal and anine-minute cameo at Newcastle on Tuesday took Owen to eight with five games remaining for Premier League leaders Manchester United.
KICKING HIS HEELSOwen has featured in just eight league games this season:August 20101) 16min v Fulham (a) 2-22) 16min v West Ham (h) 3-0September 20103) 19min v Bolton (a) 2-2, goalOctober 20104) 45min v Sunderland (a) 0-0January 20115) 12min v Stoke (h) 2-16) 35min v Birmingham (h) 5-0April 20117) 17min v Fulham (h) 2-08) 9min v Newcastle (a) 0-0TOTAL: 169 minutes
The 31-year-old striker has only started once for Sir Alex Ferguson, in October's goalless draw at Sunderland when he went off at half-time, and has scored once, a late equaliser at Bolton in September.
His deal expires at the end of the season and it is unlikely to be renewed after the success of newcomer Javier Hernandez. Owen has scored 148 goals in the Premier League and one more would give him the fifth-highest tally, after Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Thierry Henry and Robbie Fowler.
United's Wes Brown and Antonio Valencia could also miss out on a title medal, having played seven and six games respectively.
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