Manchester United have confirmed that Michael Owen will not play again this season after injuring his hamstring in the Carling Cup Final.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the 30-year-old forward will not return from the problem he picked up shortly after scoring during his side's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley last Sunday.
Owen's World Cup dream also looks to be over after being told he will not be able to play again before the domestic season ends in May.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker joined United on a free transfer from Newcastle last summer and he had scored nine goals in 11 starts for the Red Devils this term.
The 89-times capped international made 20 club appearances in all competitions but had failed to convince coach Fabio Capello of his England credentials ahead of the World Cup.
"It's a bad blow - he's out for the season," confirmed Ferguson. "Unfortunately it's more serious than we thought. He will be operated on on Monday morning.
"It's a terrible blow for the lad and is disappointing news for us too.
"He has never missed a training session all season.
"I think the heavy pitch at Wembley on Sunday made some contribution to it but really it is just bad luck."