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Owen ruled out of World Cup through injury

Michael Owen has not played for England since March 2008
Michael Owen has not played for England since March 2008
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michael Owen is ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury
  • The news ends Owen's chances of making Fabio Capello's World Cup squad
  • Owen Hargreaves will make his return from an 18-month injury layoff next week
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(CNN) -- England striker Michael Owen has been ruled out for the rest of the season through injury, ending hopes that he could play at the World Cup for his country.

Owen, who plays for English Premier League champions Manchester United, limped out of the League Cup final against Aston Villa on Sunday with a damaged hamstring and will now undergo surgery on March 8.

United manager Alex Ferguson said the poor condition of the turf at the London stadium may have been partly to blame for the injury.

"It's a bad blow for Michael and he's out for the season," Ferguson said in a statement on the official Manchester United Web site.

"It was more serious than we thought and he'll have an operation on Monday. It's a terrible blow for the lad and disappointing for us, too. He never missed a training session all season. The heavy pitch at Wembley played some part, but it's also bad luck."

Owen, the 2001 European Footballer of the Year, moved to United in July 2009 in a bid to win a place in Fabio Capello's England squad.

But despite scoring the winner against arch rivals Manchester City and a European Champions League hat-trick in Wolfsburg this season, he has struggled to hold down a regular place in the side, with 20 of his 31 appearances coming as a substitute.

"I have loved every minute of my first campaign with United and have already enjoyed some memorable moments," said Owen.

"I am determined to come back at the start of next season in peak condition."

Owen, who has scored 40 goals in 89 games for England and played in the last three World Cups, has not appeared for the national team since March 2008 and was running out of time to force himself into Capello's plans for the finals in South Africa in June and July.

Meanwhile, midfielder Owen Hargreaves has given United and England a boost with the news that he will play for the reserves on Thursday March 11.

Hargreaves, one of England's standout performers in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, has undergone two knee operations since his last United appearance in September 2008.

Chelsea fullback Jose Bosingwa will miss the rest of the season and the World Cup with Portugal due to a knee injury.