Phil Jones has been dealt another blow to an injury ridden season after it has been confirmed he has contracted Shingles.
The 20-year-old defender has only recently returned from a knee injury that ruled him out of the first two months of the season and this new set back is a cruel blow to him.
Jones was due to play for Stuart Pearce’s England U21s this week but the manager confirmed that he won’t be joining up with the squad.
He said: “You want all your good players to be here and be part of it.
“But Jones picked up shingles and there’s not a lot we can do about it.
“It’s a shame because it makes us stronger when Phil’s here, that’s for sure. But it gives someone else a chance.”
“Shingles is an extraordinarily painful condition that involves inflammation of sensory nerves. It causes numbness, itching or pain followed by the appearance of clusters of littles blisters in a strip pattern on one side of the body. The pain can persist for weeks, months or years after the rash heals and is then known as post-herpetic neuralgia.” Medical definition of Shingles
The injury to Jones is a bigger blow than most United fans might care to think. The season ending surgery to Fletcher left us drastically thin in defensive midfield but a return to form from Jones, including a superb performance away to Tottenham Hotspur in the holding spot, earned him rightful praise.
When combined with the fact that Michael Carrick has pulled out of England’s friendly with Brazil on Wednesday, this injury leaves United with effectively no defensive minded midfielders with Scholes, Cleverley and Anderson all suited to attacking, forward thinking football.
United will be entering the UEFA Champions League knock-out stages in February and on big European away nights, Ferguson always sets up on the counter-attack. However, if we are left with Carrick and Jones on the sidelines, a radical change of tactics might be required.
Here is to hoping that Jones’ recovery is swift and he can return stronger than ever because United certainly need the versatility and reliability of Jones in the squad if we are to continue battling for three trophies this season.