I'm not going to lie—I had personally pinned a lot of the problems in the United defence at the start of this season on the fact that United had been missing their young superstar, Phil Jones.
Now, however, it seems as though the Red Devils will have to try to find a way to cope without the man from Preston for at least another six weeks, if not more (BBC Sport).
Jones had missed the start of this season's Premier League campaign with a back injury that he picked up over the summer.
Just when it looked like the 20-year-old was about to make a more than welcome return from that particular injury, he picked up another one this week in training.
Surgeons have already operated on the knee, and expect another very lengthy delay before Jones' return.
For those of you out there that have been rightfully complaining about the United defence at the start of the 2012-13 season, this news could not have come at a worse time.
Jones is an amazingly versatile player, able to play at right-back, centre-back and even if required in the defensive midfield slot.
His return to the side would probably have seen him fill in for Rafael, who has been poor to say the very least so far in regards to his defensive duties.
Jones has fashioned himself into somewhat of the perfect right-back.
It's clear that Phil has the ability to go forward with the ball at his feet but also, unlike Rafael, has a terrific positional awareness when it comes to defensive cover.
Jones may well have been the signing of the summer last year—at least in terms of value for money and what he will provide for the club in the future—and the fact that United have not been able to use him in their setup is a frustrating blow.
Looks like it's back to the drawing board for any plans Fergie might have had to revamp his defensive line!
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