Phil Jones a doubt for England’s qualifier against Slovenia, Manchester United defender to have fitness test

by Harry Robinson

Manchester United defender Phil Jones will be assessed by England’s medical team ahead of the Three Lions’ 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.

Gareth Southgate’s England will guarantee World Cup qualification with a win on Thursday at Wembley, but Jones may not be involved.

The centre-back has started the season in fantastic form for Man United. Avoiding any serious injuries thus far, he missed last week’s UEFA Champions League 4-1 away victory against CSKA Moscow.

However, he was back in action, playing the full game for Jose Mourinho, against Crystal Palace in Saturday’s comfortable 4-0 win.

He’ll be assessed by medics alongside Manchester City’s Fabian Delph.

The 25-year-old has had injury problems throughout his United career, but has managed to steer clear of any serious issues so far this season.

Even if he has a knock, aggravating it should be avoided at all costs, with his current form seeing him become first-choice centre-back alongside Eric Bailly at United.

To lose a player in his form would be a great shame, and England must not risk further injury to Jones by playing him on Thursday if there is any lingering issue.

Jones will be needed by United for a run of tricky games in October, starting with a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool in the first game back after the international break.

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