Owen is still a doubt for England's two crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia on 13 October and Russia in Moscow four days' later. The question remains how long he can continue to play with the injury without undergoing the fairly simple procedure that alleviates the hernia problem.
Current medical techniques mean that hernia sufferers can - in the best case scenario - return to action within three weeks of the operation. However, in the meantime the condition can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs. The usual advice is that at some point the hernia has to be dealt with through surgery.