'World Cup was a mistake '
London - Michael Owen has admitted he should have skipped the 2006 World Cup and concentrated on getting himself fully fit for Newcastle.
The striker won a race-against-time to recover from a broken foot bone in time to join up with the England squad in Germany. But he has been plagued by injuries ever since and with hindsight, now wishes he had stayed at home.
"If you look at my time at Newcastle, the problems started when Paul Robinson landed on my foot against Tottenham just after Christmas (2005)," Owen said in an interview with the Newcastle Journal.
"Loads of people get metatarsal injuries, but they are normally not as bad as mine. Nobody's foot would not have broken in that situation.
"I then rushed my preparations for the World Cup. I played half a game for Newcastle.
"After being in plaster for so long, my leg was de-conditioned and with hindsight, I should never have gone to Germany with England.
"It's easy to say that now, but if I had my time again, I would still have gone because it was a World Cup.
"I'm not thinking what could have been, but with hindsight, my leg was half as strong as it should have been.
"Muscles support limbs and I twisted my knee awkwardly and that was it. All that came from someone landing on my foot, so I don't think it's my fault."
Owen, now 29, returned from his latest injury - ankle ligament damage - in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Hull and Newcastle are counting on him to provide the goals they need to ensure Premier League survival.
"Hopefully my eye is in straight away and I start knocking the goals in again immediately," Owen added.