JOHN Carew has seen a specialist about his problematic hip injury, which has forced him to miss Aston Villa’s home defeat to Middlesbrough last weekend.

The giant striker failed a late fitness test on Sunday and underwent scans on the injury on Monday and now faces a race to be fit for this Saturday’s trip to face Arsenal.

Villa manager Martin O’Neill revealed the scan results were positive but said the Norway international had complained of more pain at the front of the hip so they sent him to see a specialist yesterday and were now awaiting his verdict.

O’Neill added that the injury had been niggling the 29-year-old for several weeks but had become worse after last Thursday’s UEFA Cup tie in Prague.

“We are not sure if he will be fit yet,” O’Neill said.

“He has been for scans and those scans have been pretty good but he is still feeling discomfort at the front now, so he is seeing a specialist.

“It is a problem that has been coming on, and he has certainly exacerbated it in Prague. We were hoping it would be okay but it seems to have caught up with him at the moment. But we are trying to do everything to get him ready for Arsenal.”

O’Neill said midfielder Stiliyan Petrov and defender Luke Young could also return to training this week after injury.

Petrov has been out since the 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers last month with a hamstring injury, while Young missed the Middlesbrough game because of a thigh strain.

“Petrov and Luke Young are making good progress,” he said. “I would be hoping that this week, with some training for both of them, that they will be in contention.

Meanwhile, midfielder Steve Sidwell has revealed he has been given a boost by his team-mates following his horrendous mistake which gifted the three points to Middlesbrough on Sunday.

The former Chelsea and Reading star’s sloppy pass presented Boro striker Tuncay Sanli with a gift in the closing stages and the 25-year-old admitted it was the lowest point of his career.

However, his spirits have been lifted by his Villa team-mates who have moved rallied around Sidwell after his mistake

“The lads have been terrific,” Sidwell said. “But that’s what I’d expect because we are a close team – good friends on and off the pitch.”