Phil Jones confirmed in Man Utd squad against West Ham and could play first game for club in 20 MONTHS

PHIL JONES is set to take the next step on his long journey back from injury after he was named in the Manchester United squad to face West Ham.

The defender has not played for the first team since January 2020 and recently revealed how his knee injury saga left him “an absolute mess”.

But United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed the 29-year-old as part of his matchday squad for the Carabao Cup visit of West Ham.

Jones has revealed how life on the sidelines has seen him subject to abuse from fans and admitted he used to return home from Carrington in tears.

His last Red Devils appearance came almost two years ago in an FA Cup tie against Tranmere.

Following that match Jones opted to go under the knife in an attempt to repair a niggling meniscus issue.

His return to action has been arduous and the likes of skipper Harry Maguire, summer-arrival Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly now sit comfortably above him in the centre-back pecking order.

But Jones is desperate to put those injury woes behind him after turning out for United’s U23 side and completing several behind-closed-doors friendlies.

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He has notched 224 appearances since moving to Old Trafford from Blackburn in 2011, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League and Carabao Cup.

Solskjaer is set to ring the changes as United welcome West Ham to the Theatre of Dreams.

The teams meet for the second time in four days following the Red Devils’ dramatic 2-1 victory in their Premier League clash on Sunday.

Jesse Lingard could be rewarded for his match-winning efforts with a start while struggling Donny van de Beek is also tipped to make an appearance.

But Solskjaer’s likely XI points to United’s strength in depth, with stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw and David De Gea all given the night off.

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