Rumours surfaced in the hours building up to the game that Jones would miss the game due to injury and were correct as he was replaced by Chris Smalling as the side played out a 1-1 draw against the Premier League leaders.
Given Jones’ injury record, fans could have been forgiven for being pessimistic but manager Van Gaal confirmed after the game Jones was suffering from shin splints but didn’t say if he’d be fit for the Manchester derby.
“We’ll have to wait and see because it’s not too easy to recover from,” said van Gaal.
It’s another frustrating setback for a player that is rated both by United fans and inside Old Trafford as a talented young defender who could shine with an extended run of games in the first team.
Jones made a relatively solid start to a campaign blighted by defensive injuries, starting all three of the club’s opening Premier League matches, before being ruled for a month with a shoulder injury picked up playing for England.
The defender returned to the starting line-up against West Brom on Monday but has failed once again to put a run of matches together. Smalling proved to be an able deputy against Chelsea on Sunday and only time will tell if Jones is ready to return at the Etihad next weekend.