Belfast Telegraph

Villa rocked by Carew injury

Aston Villa have suffered a blow with the news that striker John Carew, who had been set to replace the injured Emile Heskey at Fulham this weekend, has torn his calf muscle.

The Norway international joins former England forward Heskey, who will be out for up to a month with a medial ligament injury, on the sidelines, leaving manager Gerard Houllier short of options given that Gabriel Agbonlahor has only just returned to light training after a groin operation.

Houllier said: "Having Heskey out is a big blow because in the six games he played, he scored three goals and created some chances as well.

"His work rate was phenomenal. But the other blow is that John Carew won't be playing because he picked up an injury in training (on Thursday).

"He had a scan (on Friday morning) and there is a slight tear of his calf which will rule him out for a minimum of three weeks, maybe four.

"Gabby is still in the recovery period although for the first time he took part in training (on Friday), in the ball work.

"Emile had the operation (on Thursday night) and it was successful but he will maybe need another three or four weeks."

Houllier confirmed that Nathan Delfouneso will make his first Premier League start after 14 appearances as a substitute during the past three seasons.

He said: "It is an ideal opportunity for the young Nathan to step up. He will definitely be the main striker."

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