Carew hands Villa fitness boost

04 February 2010 10:18
The Norway international has been unavailable for Villa's last four games because of a knee problem.[LNB]But the former Lyon player, who had lost his place in the starting line-up to Emile Heskey before the setback, is now back in training and making good progress.[LNB]Villa manager Martin O'Neill said: "John has been training the last few days now and has had no reaction. Therefore, in terms of fitness, he would be in better condition than he was last week."[LNB]O'Neill will continue to monitor the fitness of skipper Stiliyan Petrov who has continued playing despite the handicap of an Achilles problem in recent weeks.[LNB]The midfielder needed an injection at half-time during the Carling Cup semi-final, second leg with Blackburn to enable him to complete the second 45 minutes.[LNB]O'Neill said: "We are just going to have to monitor Stiliyan. We have games coming up and he is keen to play on. This week, with no midweek match, has given him a bit of a breather.[LNB]"That is a good thing but we don't have too many of those between now and the end of the season and we will have to see how it goes."[LNB]O'Neill has also admitted he may not have sold midfielder Craig Gardner to Birmingham last month had Nigel Reo-Coker's knee injury come to light earlier.[LNB]He said: "I think the deal for Gardner had already been agreed with Birmingham. If there had been a time-scale difference, I might have reconsidered it."[LNB][LNB] Tottenham v Aston Villa To Score in 90mins: Carew, J. 3/1  

Source: Team_Talk