Monday 2 July 2018 by Gary Stanton

Michael Owen’s World Cup injury list rundown


Michael Owen injury run-down

Hi, I’m Michael Owen, and this is my guide to who’s crocked and who’s not. You might say I’m the ideal person to do an injury summary having spent a fair bit of time on the bench myself.

Deli Alli, England. Dead Leg.

A dead leg can really knock a player’s confidence as I know only too well having sustained one tripping over a horse. Although Deli will have to sit out the remainder of the World Cup, he should be ready to commence light training in time for the Euro qualifiers in October. I overcame my dead leg by placing a towel under my groin and rubbing it backwards and forwards.

James Rodriguez. Colombia. Calf injury.

James picked up a calf injury during the match against Senegal. Although a scan shows no muscle tear, I wouldn’t play him in the match against England. Six months is the benchmark for this kind of injury and I should know having picked one up against Leicester in the Cup. Unlike Rodriguez, though, I was never in danger of being targeted by deadly Colombian gangsters.

Edinson Cavani. Uruguay. Non-specific ligaments.

Ligaments can be tricky blighters. I damaged all my major ligaments putting up shelves in the spare room. Although I was out for the best part of eighteen months with them, Cavani’s relatively young age should mean he’s fit to face the cheese-eaters.

Marcelo, Brazil. Back spasm.

Brazil fans will have been rightly concerned to see their start Marcelo suffering a back spasm. During my time at Stoke I was constantly plagued by sciatica, and there isn’t a physio alive who can ameliorate the effects of chronic lower back pain. I’d give it three months if I were him.

Alan Dzagoev, Russia. Hamstring.

This is a potentially career-ending injury and the central midfielder in him ( he’s a central midfielder ) will rue this. My hamstrings were so troublesome that I had one of them surgically removed, and to my surprise, found that I gained an extra yard of pace. That isn’t much use when you’re being starved of service and wasting valuable time fighting cretins on social media.

Danilo, Brazil. Thigh.

You have to be careful that a thigh injury doesn’t turn into sepsis. Things to watch out for are a raised pulse, vomiting and general apathy. My thigh problems at Man United are well documented and I found that enlisting the help of a local voodoo doctor eased my symptoms enough that I could come on as a sub for the last fifteen minutes. Danilo might make the semis if he is wise enough to look beyond conventional medicine for a cure.

Antoine Griezmann, France Existenial Angst.

Griezmann nearly missed the last game against Argentina after failing to come to terms with the futility of his own existence. This is where a good manager can help a player. Griezmann needs to focus on his true inner purpose, unencumbered by the confines of traditional Christian morality. He can do this by practising corner kicks.

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