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Old Trafford utility man facing injury lay-off.
Manchester United have been hit by an injury blow with the news that utility man Phil Jones is facing a lay-off with an ankle problem.
Jones left Old Trafford on crutches after suffering the injury in Manchester United’s 2-1 FA Cup victory over Reading on Monday night which booked a quarter-final date with either Chelsea or Middlesbrough.
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Jones looks certain to miss Saturday’s top versus bottom Premier League clash with struggling Queens Park Rangers but it is unclear at this stage the severity of the injury and United will be anxious to receive the verdict on the ankle problem which could keep him out for a while.
“We’ll have to assess him,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said after the Reading victory. “It’s an ankle injury obviously so I’d imagine he’ll not be ready for Saturday anyway. But we’ll see what he’s like after that.”
It has been Jones’ versatility that Manchester United have benefited from most since snapping him up as a teenage centre-back from Blackburn Rovers. He has not only starred in his natural position but also as a holding midfielder and at right-back where he played against Reading and picked the injury up in a challenge with Jobi McAnuff.
It is in the defensive midfield role that he has particularly excelled, and he was employed in that position to stifle Cristiano Ronaldo in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Real Madrid last week. Ferguson will be desperate to have Jones available for the return leg at Old Trafford.
Jones has also played as a midfielder for England, although was left out of Roy Hodgson’s most recent squad.