Phil Jones
Phil Jones Reuters

Manchester United have received a timely boost after reports suggested that defender Phil Jones has returned to training this week and he could be in line to start against Everton on Sunday.

According to the Mirror, the United defender, who suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty about three weeks ago, has made an earlier than expected return to reduce the injury woes for Louis van Gaal.

The Dutchman has been relying on the club's youngsters due to the number of injuries in the squad and last week saw yet another young defender Paddy McNair make his debut for the club.

Despite the youngster's assured performance against West Ham United, van Gaal is unsure about giving him another run against the more dangerous Toffees.

With Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling still out injured, the return of Jones will solidify the United back line, which has struggled to contain teams this season.

United have nine players currently injured, with the latest addition being Ander Herrera, who was ruled out for at least a month with a fractured rib.

Meanwhile, United defender Rafael has hailed the Red Devils' attacking style of play and believes that is the way the club need to play from now onwards.

"I think we played brilliant football in the first half, apart from conceding from a set piece. We could have scored more goals, and I think the way we played in the first half is the way we have to play from now on," Rafael told United's official site.

"If we had drawn the game, I think everyone would have felt deflated in the dressing room, but instead we were all motivated and knew we would sleep well that night. After last week [against Leicester], I couldn't sleep all night!" the Brazilian defender added.