Manchester United will welcome back defensive pairing Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to the first team in two to three weeks, Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed.
The duo are yet to make an appearance this season, with Jones recuperating from surgery on a troubling knee and Smalling making progress after suffering a broken metatarsal during the summer, the same injury which ruled him out of England’s Euro 2012 campaign. Former Fulham man Smalling has resumed light training this week, while Ferguson expects 20-year-old Jones to follow suit next week.
"Chris trained [Monday] morning with [reserve-team coach] Warren Joyce," Ferguson said, ESPN report. "He has trained there a couple of days now but it is non-contact at the moment. The encouraging thing is he is definitely on the way back. I expect Phil Jones to start next Monday on the football side and the two of them are two or three weeks away."
The defensive injury crisis that has threatened to mar the opening of Manchester United’s campaign has seen the young England internationals watching on in frustration, along with Nemanja Vidic, who is likely to be ruled out until December.