Sit up straight, injury-plagued Owen told

LONDON Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:46pm IST

Michael Owen runs during a training session at their Carrington training complex in Manchester, northern England February 22, 2012. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis/Files

Michael Owen runs during a training session at their Carrington training complex in Manchester, northern England February 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Roddis/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Stoke City striker Michael Owen has been handed a simple piece of advice to try to stop his chronic hamstring problems - he has been ordered to sit up straight.

The 32-year-old former England forward, who has only played 54 minutes for the Premier League side since joining at the start of the season, left Manchester United at the end of last term after injury had again threatened to wreck his career.

"Michael is so nervous about it being a long-term injury," Stoke boss Tony Pulis told the UK's Daily Mail newspaper.

"It's more to do with his posture than anything else. That affects the hamstring. It's all about the alignment of his back and spine, making sure everything's in place."

Owen started off at Liverpool before moving to Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United but the 2001 European player of the year has often missed large chunks of seasons because of injury.

"We believe there are a lot of problems that you get in muscular injuries and the source is your spine not being in line. But we knew this might be a stop-start campaign for him, especially at the beginning," Pulis added.

(Writing by Mark Meadows; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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