Manchester United’s outcast defender Phil Jones is set make the squad for tomorrow’s Carabao Cup fixture against West Ham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.
Jones has endured a troubling 18 months, having failed to make a single appearance for the club since the 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers in January 2020. Since that game, the 29-year-old has undergone surgery for a serious knee injury.
Solskjaer has now confirmed Jones will make a return to the Manchester United squad against David Moyes’ side, having already featured twice for the U23’s.
“I’m so happy for Phil,” the manager is quoted as saying by the official Manchester United website. “He has completed two 90 minutes for the Under-23s, played some minutes behind closed doors and he’s got no reaction on his knee. He’s been working really hard.
“I’ve been part of that myself and had the best part of three years, or at least more than two out of three years, and I know what challenges he’s been through, mentally, thinking ‘will I ever play football again or even be able to walk again and be able to play with the kids in the garden
“He’s been so diligent and so professional; no frills, no social media and I’m old school. I like players like that. He just focuses on one thing and gets his head around the challenges and he’s back. He will be in the squad. It’s a good day for him and for us, and it’s something that he has earned.”
Jones’ seemingly endless injury concerns have seen the former Blackburn defender go through his own hardships over the last few years, an unfortunate spell he has now opened up on.
A starting berth against West Ham is unlikely but should he be involved in any capacity, he will hope it marks the end of a long spell on the sidelines.
Jones has two years remaining on his current deal at Old Trafford and despite barely featuring for his side during Solskjaer’s time at the club, he is still very much capable of reviving his career in the top flight.