Chris Smalling, Phil Jones close to Manchester United returns

Smalling, Jones close to United returns
© PA Photos
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson reveals that defensive duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will return to action next week.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that defensive duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are nearing first-team comebacks.

Smalling has been out of action since breaking his metatarsal in the summer, while a host of back and knee injuries has kept fellow England international Jones on the sidelines.

"We will try to push Chris on quickly. I don't think he will make Wednesday's game but I am sure he will be ready for the following week," Ferguson told reporters.

"There was some hope both he and Phil would be back for this busy schedule. Phil will be starting football training next Monday. He still has some running to do. The good news is they are not far away."

United currently sit second in the Premier League table.

Phil Jones
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