Manchester United given Phil Jones injury boost

Phil Jones
Jones (right) was injured after clashing with Fulham's Clint Dempsey

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has been told he has not suffered a serious facial injury and could play in the Boxing Day game against Wigan.

The player, 19, was caught by an elbow from Clint Dempsey during the opening minutes of Wednesday's 5-0 victory at Fulham.

United feared Jones may have broken his jaw or fractured a cheekbone but X-rays have shown no major damage.

Ashley Young is out for a few weeks after injuring a knee in the same game.

The winger joins an injury list that includes Darren Fletcher (illness), Rio Ferdinand (foot), Anderson (knee), Tom Cleverley (ankle), Michael Owen (thigh), Nemanja Vidic (knee) and Fabio (hamstring).

"Phil Jones should be OK for Monday," United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said on Friday. "He has some swelling in his jaw but there's no break, no fracture, which is good news.

"We feared the worst because he lost his vision a bit in that period when he came back on to the field.

"It's not so good for Ashley Young. We're still waiting on some of the bleeding to go away, which is quite extensive at the moment. It was a sore one, so he'll be out for a few weeks."

Brazilian defender Rafael da Silva is also expected to return from long-term injury.

United, who play Wigan at Old Trafford, are currently second in the Premier League table, just two points adrift of Manchester City.

Despite their injury concerns, they have won seven of their past eight league matches.

"It is time to keep our foot on the pedal," said Ferguson.

Jones has been an increasingly influential figure for United since his £17m move from Blackburn Rovers in the summer.

He can play in both defence and midfield, his impressive form earning him international honours with England.