United hit by Jones blow

The Bolton News: Phil Jones could miss Manchester United's Champions League clash in Madrid with shingles Phil Jones could miss Manchester United's Champions League clash in Madrid with shingles

Phil Jones is likely to be ruled out of Manchester United's Champions League last-16 first-leg encounter with Real Madrid next week after being struck down by a bout of shingles.

Jones missed United's Barclays Premier League win at Fulham on Saturday and 24 hours later was withdrawn from the England Under-21 squad for Wednesday night's encounter with Sweden in Walsall.

No reason was given by the Old Trafford outfit for the absences. However, England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has confirmed Jones is suffering from shingles.

"Jones picked up shingles and there's not a lot we can do about it," said Pearce to several national newspapers.

"It's a shame because it makes us stronger when Phil's here, that's for sure. But it gives someone else a chance."

A similar virus to chicken-pox, shingles is relatively common and the symptoms last for at least a fortnight.

So, depending upon the severity, it is difficult to see Jones recovering in time to make the trip to Madrid for next Wednesday's game.

It would be a blow to Sir Alex Ferguson too as the youngster recently excelled in a central midfield role against Tottenham and United might have been looking for Jones to carry out the same duties again as they look to get a positive result to take back to Old Trafford for the decider on March 5.

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