Stoke manager Tony Pulis has rubbished claims that striker Michael Owen is set to leave the club loan, despite limited first-team opportunities so far this season.
The 33-year-old has yet to make a league start this term but notched a consolation goal for his side after coming on as a second-half substitute against Swansea City.
Pulis is keen to keep Owen and denied reports that the striker was being lined up for a Britannia Stadium exit after his manager opted to leave him on the bench during the extra-time win over Crystal Palace.
"There is absolutely no chance of Michael going out on loan," he told reporters.
"He needs game time but I didn't think it was right to bring on him against Palace on Tuesday. As a manager you have to make these decisions, irrespective of how big a name is."
The loss at the Liberty Stadium was Owen’s first exposure to match action since October after continual hamstring troubles, and the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United forward believes overexposure at a young age is key to his persistent injury concerns.
"People laugh when I say that I am not naturally injury prone," he told The Mirror.
"It is my genuine opinion that I have become injury prone due to overplaying at a young age, suffering an injury as a result and then having a dreadful rehabilitation at such a critical time."