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Owen ready for Stoke debut
Published : 13 Sep 2012 10:35:00
New Stoke striker Michael Owen has declared himself fit enough to play a part against Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium this weekend.
Stoke signed Owen, a free agent after his release over the summer by Manchester United, last week on a one-year deal.
The 32-year-old has had a catalogue of injury problems during his career and only played four times in 2011-12, with his last first-team appearance for United coming in November. Owen is keen to make his return to action as soon as possible and says he is in good enough condition to do so, although the decision about Saturday's match lies with Stoke boss Tony Pulis.
Speaking on Thursday morning at a press conference where he was officially unveiled to the media, Owen said: "I'm not sure what the manager has got in store. "I feel as if I am fit enough to take part in a game. I'm not quite 100% confident or happy in my general touch and different bits and bobs, but that will come.
"So we'll see what the manager has got in mind, but I'd like to think I'll improve as the weeks go on." Pulis was keeping an open mind on the matter, but said he was pleased with what Owen had demonstrated so far fitness-wise. "From what the lads say, he has come back a lot fitter than what we thought he would," Pulis said.
"He needs a lot more work with the ball and being in small-sided games for his sharpness, but we are pleased with the way he has come back." Asked if he felt he could use Owen straight away in a game, Pulis said: "It is too early to say yet. We have got two more days."