Manchester United are unlikely to rush Phil Jones back from injury for their Capital One Cup clash against Ipswich Town on Wednesday 23 September. The defender has been out since the start of the season with mild thrombosis and will not be in contention despite returning to training.
According to the Guardian, the Dutch manager is unlikely to risk the England international defender, who was diagnosed with the injury prior to United's opening game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur. He has trained with the first-team, but lacks match fitness to play any part against the Tractor Boys on Wednesday. "Friday was his first training session with the group so it's nearly done but he's not match fit. It's very early," Van Gaal said, as quoted by the Guardian.
The Red Devils played with a new look back four for the first time this season against Southampton at the weekend owing to Luke Shaw's injury, which will keep the young defender out for a minimum of six months. Marcos Rojo was drafted into the team and was deployed at left-back, but was replaced late in the game by Paddy McNair.
Jones will have his work cut out to win back his place in the first-team following impressive performances by Chris Smalling and Daley Blind, who are the manager's preferred choice at the heart of United's back four. The latter, who is primarily a midfielder, can also operate on the left side of the defensive line providing cover in the absence of Shaw.
Meanwhile, according to the Manchester Evening News, summer signing Anthony Martial is on the verge of equalling an age-old record that was set in 1972, when Ian Storey-Moore, signed from Nottingham Forest, scored in three consecutive first division (now Premier League) matches following his debut. The French forward has now scored in his first two appearances against Liverpool and Southampton and with strugglers Sunderland next up on Saturday 26 September, the forward has a great chance to equal the record set by the Englishman.