The stricken star flew by helicopter to the privately-owned Capio Yorkshire Clinic where groin and hernia specialist Ernest Schilders' diagnosis that he would need surgery means he will miss next month's vital Euro 2008 qualifying matches against Russia and Estonia.
Mr Schilders said he could not comment on his assessment of the multi-millionaire Newcastle United player's injury due to patient confidentiality. But it is understood that Mr Owen, 27, who hobbled out of Newcastle's 3-1 defeat of West Ham last weekend, will now travel to Munich for an operation by renowned German hernia surgeon Dr Ulrike Muschaweck and will be out of action for at least three weeks.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker, who is England's fourth highest goalscorer and eighth most capped player, is not the only football star to have passed through the clinic's doors. Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Steve Bollen, above, has treated a long list of players there including Manchester United legends Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs. And other top players, including England and Manchester United player Wes Brown and former Arsenal and Ireland striker Niall Quinn, have Mr Bollen to thank for saving their careers.