Jose Mourinho revealed on Wednesday evening the Manchester United defender Phil Jones was absent in the Reds’ UEFA Champions League fixture against Benfica due to injury.
The 54-year-old was speaking to BT Sport ahead of kick-off against the Portuguese champions, and admitted it was a big night for Swedish centre back Victor Lindelof, coming into the team to replace Jones and returning to his former club.
This is the second injury that Jones suffered this season, having had to pull out of the last England squad with a knock. That left him fit to face Liverpool at Anfield in 0–0 draw last Saturday, but the Englishman is now unavailable.
It’s disappointing news after a fantastic start to the season to Jones in Red. He had been staying relatively injury free, a positive for United as he earned the faith of manager Mourinho with some very solid performances alongside Ivorian defender Eric Bailly.
Jones is reportedly set to be rewarded for his good form with a new contract at Old Trafford that will make him one of the Premier League’s highest paid defenders.
The extent of Jones’s injury is not yet known, but United injury list is quickly racking up. Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains a long-term absentee after knee operation due to serious ligament damage suffered in April this year. Jones, though, should be back relatively soon given he was on the substitutes bench at the Estadio da Luz.
Star midfielder Paul Pogba was injured in United’s opening Champions League group stage game against FC Basel, and is yet to return, and could still be some weeks away from playing again.
Defender Marcos Rojo travelled with United to Portugal for the Benfica game but Mourinho told BT sports that the Argentine won’t be back in first-team action yet.
Meanwhile, midfielder Marouane Fellaini picked up a knee injury while on international duty with Belgium and is likely to be out for two to three weeks.