Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans [Reuters] Reuters

Manchester United have suffered a major blow as defender Jonny Evans is reportedly set for an extended spell on the sidelines, according to the Mirror.

The 26-year-old picked up a calf injury in the first quarter of a match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, which the Premier League champions lost 2-1. The same game also saw Phil Jones being stretchered off the field after a nasty clash with Jonathan Walters.

The two have been out of action since then and are yet to return to first team action. United have several injury worries after the midweek international friendlies as striker Javier Hernandez and playmaker Shinji Kagawa are struggling to be fit for the next fixture.

The Mexican international, along with the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder, are doubtful for the weekend Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion. The Mirror claims Evans could also miss the league fixture against Pepe Mel's side and could be out for a further three weeks.

The Red Devils have a tough set of fixtures in the coming weeks. United host Liverpool on 16 March in the league tie and then face Olympiakos midweek at Old Trafford in the Champions League clash.

United will face Manchester City later this month in what will be the former Everton manager's first derby at Old Trafford as the Red Devils' manager. The first derby of the season saw the Premier League champions suffer a 4-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

David Moyes was hopeful the Northern Irishman could return to the first team action for United's trip to the Hawthorns. However, Evans is set to miss United's crucial fixtures this month.

The same report indicates that Jones has returned to training after a hip injury and could be in contention for the league fixture against West Brom. The England international could replace Evans in United's back four and partner with Nemanja Vidic in the heart of the defence.

Chris Smalling has been deployed to the right-back position in the absence of Rafael da Silva. Should the Brazilian be fit for West Brom clash, the English defender could take his regular role in United's starting lineup.