Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce is worried that Michael Owen will suffer another injury setback if England boss Steve McClaren pushes him too hard.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid star came off the Magpies bench to score in the 3-2 win against Everton, just over a week after going under the surgeon's knife.
Owen is desperate to start for England against both Estonia and Russia, but Allardyce remains cautious about his player's long-term fitness.
He said: "We've been very protective with Michael Owen and that's why we didn't start him (against Everton).
"He's got to be eased back into it. For me it's about ensuring that every game Newcastle play, he's available to get selected.
"He goes to England fit and the last thing I want is for him to come back with another injury."
However, Owen said after the victory against David Moyes' side: "I'm fine. I'm playing without pain and it can only get better.
"It's only minor and I've still got all the stitches in. I've put in a lot of hard work and I was disappointed not to actually start.
"My surgeon has told me to push it hard and it can only get better."