Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill admits it would be 'devastating' if left-back Stephen Warnock is ruled out of the Carling Cup final through injury.
Warnock has been troubled by a shin problem in recent weeks and has now been advised by a specialist to rest the problem for another fortnight before it is reassessed.
Villa will meet Manchester United in the final at Wembley on February 28 - barely a week after Warnock is checked out again.
He has been a key figure in Villa's push for a Champions League spot and cup success since his £7million move from Blackburn in August.
But Warnock has already missed Villa's last two league games with Arsenal and Fulham after being substituted early in the second half of the FA Cup fourth round clash with Brighton 12 days ago.
O'Neill said: 'Obviously it is worrying for Stephen and he has done so much to get us to the cup final. It would be devastating if he missed that. He has been splendid since he came here and got back into the picture with England.
'Stephen will have to rest for a while. We will have a look and see how he is in a couple of weeks. That is what the specialist has said. We will have to see if it will settle down.
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'Obviously, he's desperate to be playing. It's disappointing because he's been brilliant for us. In fact, Stephen, James Collins and Richard Dunne have all given us an enormous boost at the back since they all came here at approximately the same time.
'Their ability, their character - everything about them - has been excellent. It would be hard to imagine where we would be without them. They love to play and they've also built up a really decent understanding. Taking all that into consideration it (Warnock's injury) is a blow.'
O'Neill has had some encouraging injury news, with striker John Carew back in training after a knee problem. He has suffered no reaction and could come into the equation for tomorrow evening's Barclays Premier League clash away to fellow top-four challengers Tottenham.
The Norway international has been unavailable for the past four games.
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