Phil Jones optimistic of returning for Manchester United at weekend

• Central defender suffered calf injury playing in England friendly
• Niggle was recurrence of problem suffered against Huddersfield

Phil Jones is hopeful of recovering from the calf injury he suffered playing for England and being available for Manchester United’s game against Newcastle United on Saturday evening.

The central defender was withdrawn by Gareth Southgate during Friday’s 0-0 draw with Germany after just 25 minutes, after what the manager indicated was a recurrence of the same problem that caused his substitution in United’s defeat at Huddersfield Town last month.

After leaving the England squad on Monday, tests with United’s medical department has left Jones optimistic he can face Rafael Benítez’s side at Old Trafford.

Jones has established himself as first-choice under José Mourinho, and if the 25-year-old can play it will be a major boost for the manager, with United having lost their last game before the international break, 1-0 at Chelsea. The defeat left the Portuguese’s team eight points behind Manchester City, who are yet to lose, after 11 matches. The Manchester rivals meet at Old Trafford on 10 December.

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