Manchester United outcast Phil Jones is yet to complete a single training session under new manager Erik ten Hag due to injury concerns.
Jones has been a peripheral figure at Old Trafford for a number of years due to a mix of poor form and a number of injuries. The defender has made just five appearances in all competitions for the club in the last three seasons, without any of those outings coming under new boss Ten Hag.
The Athletic have reported that, not only has Jones not played under Ten Hag, he hasn’t even completed a full first-team training session under the ex-Ajax coach either due to re-aggravating a knee injury during the first pre-season training session during the summer.
The update on Jones’ injury status comes following speculation that the centre-back might finally get a chance to play for Manchester United again due to the spate of injuries Ten Hag is dealing with in defence.
Both starting defenders Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane suffered injuries in Man Utd’s recent 2-2 draw with Sevilla in the Europa League, with the former’s foot issue keeping him out of action for the remainder of the season.
Varane’s injury, meanwhile, will see him sidelined for a ‘few weeks’ according a statement released by the club.
These injuries, along with Harry Maguire’s suspension, leaves Ten Hag with just one natural centre-back, Victor Lindelof, available for Man Utd’s upcoming FA Cup semi-final clash with Brighton and Hove Albion at Wembley Stadium.
Ten Hag may look to play Luke Shaw as an emergency option in the heart of the Red Devils’ defence due to said issues.
As for Jones, he recently insisted he has not given up hope of playing competitive football once again.
“It’s been a long road, there’s no hiding from that – at times physically and mentally,” he said on Sky Sports. “I’m a strong character and I love playing football. I’m doing everything I can to get back on the pitch. When you’ve had all the issues and injury wise, you know, it’s hard to deal with that.
“The club have been absolutely fantastic with me. I think I’ve had good support around me from family and friends. I’m grateful for that and I want to be back outside.”