Van Gaal: Evans ready to return, Jones still out

by Richard Laverty

Manchester United centre-back Jonny Evans is finally ready to return to action after three months out according to United manager Louis van Gaal.

Evans has been out since September after picking up an injury against Leicester City but the Northern Ireland international is fit and ready for selection against Southampton should he be called upon.

It’s another bonus for Van Gaal at the back with the speedy recovery of Marcos Rojo allowing him to be available for the last two months and Chris Smalling hitting a good patch of form since returning from suspension.

“Evans is coming back,” Van Gaal told reporters this afternoon.

“He is fit to play. Jones is coming back but not fit to play. He needs training sessions and maybe also matches in the second team. But he is coming back. He is fit to train. That is also very good. We are seeing already light in the tunnel.”

It gives the manager options ahead of the Southampton game on Monday night for with Evans, Smalling, Rojo, Patrick McNair and Tyler Blackett all available.

There was less positive news regarding Phil Jones who the manager confirmed is still not ready to return to action after picking up an injury in training last month.

Jones was one of few defenders who managed to put in good performances at the start of the season whilst the squad as a whole struggled to adapt to a new 3-5-2 system but as ever the England defender has been troubled by several injuries so far this campaign.

With Jones still out, it would be a surprise to see Evans disrupt the partnership of Smalling and Rojo given he has only played two U21 games in three months but it at least gives the manager some experience and depth if Evans is called upon.

You may also like