• Champions League

Fergie sweating on Jones and Evans

ESPN staff
February 11, 2013 « Selby dismantles Davis in qualifying | Chartbeat test »

Manchester United are hopeful that defenders Phil Jones and Jonny Evans will be fit to face Real Madrid in Wednesday's Champions League first leg clash at the Bernabeu.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had to take both players off during Sunday's 2-0 win over Everton but is optimistic that neither will be sidelined for long.

Jones, who had recovered from the bout of shingles that forced him to miss England's Under-21 international with Sweden, played as a midfielder, man-marking Marouane Fellaini, before going off after nine minutes of the second half.

Centre-back Evans, who has recently recovered from a hamstring injury, came off with nine minutes to go

"Phil Jones got a kick on the calf and we will have to monitor that," Ferguson explained. "Jonny Evans got a bit of cramp, and I think he's just lacked a couple of games. He only had 45 minutes for Northern Ireland [in midweek]. He had to travel all the way to Malta for 45 minutes, so we will see what he is like."

If both Jones and Evans are ruled out, Ferguson would have only five defenders - Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Chris Smalling and Rafael da Silva - in contention for the four places at the back.

Meanwhile, Ashley Young is expected to be available, but the winger - who had been out with a knee injury - has not featured in the last five matches. Ferguson said on Friday that Young had returned to fitness, but he was not even on the bench for the Everton game.

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