Liverpool and England’s Michael Owen, who is sttruggling with a thigh injury, could be out of action until the New Year.

The striker was due to return in three weeks but he is still suffering form a recurring thigh injury.

Owen was injured during Liverpool’s 1-0 UEFA Cup win against Steaua Bucharest.

The news comes as a blow for Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, whose side continues to struggle to score without their leading marksman.

Houllier has been put under pressure by chairman David Moores, who said that the club’s minimum target foor the current campaign was Champions League qualification.

Liverpool lost 2-1 at home to Southampton at the weekend and currently lie ninth in the Premiership.