Man United defender Jones to return after 20-month absence

Defender has not played since scoring in their FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers in Jan 2020 due to a serious knee issue

REUTERS September 22, 2021


Manchester United defender Phil Jones will return to the squad for Wednesday's League Cup match against West Ham United following a 20-month injury layoff, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.

Jones has not played for the club since scoring in their FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers in January 2020, because of a serious knee issue for which he underwent an operation last summer.

"I'm so happy for Phil," Solskjaer told the club website. "He has completed two 90 minutes (games) 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.

"He will be in the squad. It's a good day for him and for us, and it’s something that he has earned.

"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'."

England international Jones, who has played more than 200 games in all competitions for the club, said last weekend he had been "through hell and back" as he struggled with injuries.

Midfielder Jesse Lingard, who scored a late winner in last weekend's dramatic 2-1 Premier League victory at West Ham, would start in Wednesday's match, while defender Alex Telles will also be involved as he returns after recovering from an ankle injury.

Man Utd's Telles to make injury return in League Cup, says Solskjaer

Manchester United defender Alex Telles has returned to training and will be in the squad to face West Ham United in the League Cup on Wednesday, while 19-year-old forward Anthony Elanga will also be involved, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.

Telles, 28, has been sidelined since sustaining an ankle injury during pre-season training in July. The Brazilian left back was second choice to Luke Shaw last season and made 24 appearances across all competitions.

"Anthony was terrific in pre-season - his attitude, his enthusiasm, his directness. I love to see players like this," Solskjaer told the club's website ahead of Wednesday's game at Old Trafford.

"He was disappointed not to travel down to West Ham (on Sunday) but he scored for the Under-23s and now he's ready. He'll be involved in the squad... Alex has worked well and will be in the squad as well.

"We lost nobody on Sunday so it's the same squad or same pool of players to choose from. We know it's early on in the season and some players need minutes to get their proper fitness up so I will make a few changes."



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