Newcastle striker Michael Owen is ’50-50′ to return to action against Chelsea on Sunday.
Magpies boss Glenn Roeder says Owen will not return unless in his opinion he is “in pristine condition”.
The 27-year-old has spent the past 10 months on the sidelines recuperating after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in England’s World Cup game with Sweden last June.
“At this stage, I have not even discussed it with Michael as to whether he will be back for us on Sunday,” said Roeder.
“His groin is a bit sore, but that is what happens when players have been out for a long time, they pick up niggles in other parts of their body.
“At the moment, we are being very careful with Michael, as we would with any other player.
“He certainly has not been ruled out of the Chelsea game but, if in the end he is, then we will start looking to our next match at Reading.”
Owen’s only action this season came when he played 70 minutes in a friendly against Gretna at the club’s training ground on 10 April and scored.