Phil Jones is 'not considered an option' and will not play for Manchester United again this season
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Phil Jones will not feature for Manchester United again this season, according to reports, as Erik ten Hag's side face a defensive headache in the coming weeks.
It was confirmed last week that Lisandro Martínez has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after fracturing a metatarsal bone in his foot during their Europa League clash against Sevilla.
Raphael Varane was also substituted in that game at Old Trafford and is expected to be out 'for a few weeks'.
It is a far from ideal situation for the Reds. In fact, captain Harry Maguire will not be available for their FA Cup semi-final tie with Brighton on April 23 after picking up a yellow card in their quarter final win over Fulham.
United's shortage when it comes to centre-backs is worrying. They managed to pick up a clean sheet against Nottingham Forest on Sunday with the pairing of Victor Lindelof and Maguire but beyond that, Erik ten Hag is met with slim pickings.
Phil Jones' name has been thrown around by fans on social media ahead of their FA Cup semi-final but it appears he is not in contention to feature for the rest of the 2022/23 campaign.
The Athletic report that Jones has not been able to complete a training session under Ten Hag yet after suffering a relapse of his long-standing knee issue on the first day of pre-season.
The 31-year-old defender, who signed a four-and-a-half-year contract in February 2019, has only started 16 times since signing that deal, with that knee injury causing 'serious distress' in the past year.
He did work hard to get in the best physical shape possible ahead of Ten Hag's arrival but that ongoing problem with his knee has sadly halted any further progress.
As you can imagine, it has been a 'deeply frustrating' time for the former England international, who is 'not considered an option' for any upcoming games, according to the report.
Speaking to Sky Sports while on punditry duty for the Carabao Cup final, an upbeat Jones said he hasn't given up hope of regular first-team football in the future.
"It's been a long road, there's no hiding from that - at times physically and mentally," he said.
"I'm a strong character and I love playing football. I'm doing everything I can to get back on the pitch. When you've had all the issues and injury wise, you know, it's hard to deal with that.
"The club have been absolutely fantastic with me. I think I've had good support around me from family and friends. I'm grateful for that and I want to be back outside."
Jones' contract at Old Trafford will expire at the end of the season. United are not expected to renew his deal beyond the summer.