The 32-year-old has not featured since November 2 due to a thigh injury but is now back in full training.
Owen told MUTV: "I can't imagine myself getting back and starting in the 11. My mindset has got to be get myself ready mentally, physically and everything else because I might be needed for 10 or 20 minutes at a late stage of the season."
He added: "Who knows? It could be the last game of the season at Sunderland.
"I might have built up enough, whether playing in a reserves game or two, and then that's fine.
"But I think the immediate thing is to get myself mentally ready, just in case the manager says, 'I'll put you on the bench' or whatever and I'll come on for 15 minutes and try to nick a goal if we're struggling."
Owen has made just one Premier League appearance this season, in a draw at Stoke in September, but scored three times in two Carling Cup outings.