Van Gaal expects Jones to return this week for Man Utd

by Sam Peoples

Phil Jones is set to return to training for Manchester United this week so long as he suffers no further setbacks.

Jones has been sidelined with shin splints since injuring himself in the build-up to United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea but is now set to give Van Gaal another defensive boost.

Jonny Evans is now available for selection again, Rafael is back in training and Marcos Rojo has made a full recovery from his dislocated shoulder, so Jones’ return would give Van Gaal some real strength in depth defensively.

“Yes, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” Van Gaal said about injuries.

“Jones will train with the team next week if everything is good. Rafael has already trained with us for one week. Also now he has to play in the second squad. I’m sorry for that but it is my philosophy and the players [should understand]. If they don’t I’m not interested.”

Prior to his injury, Jones was probably United’s first-choice centre back when fit but the situation has now changed which means Jones faces a real challenge earning himself a place back in United’s team.

Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling have formed a very solid defensive partnership while the likes of Jonny Evans, Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett are all eager for game time as well.

Jones has got bags of potential to become a top class centre-back but until he can solve his fitness issues, he’ll never be able to become a regular starting XI player for United.

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