Sir Alex Ferguson admits Phil Jones could be sidelined for 10 weeks

Phil Jones: Facing a long spell out but Man Utd at least have some defenders returning to fitness

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Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa are fit to face Wigan but Sir Alex Ferguson has bemoaned the injury to Phil Jones which could keep out for 10 weeks.

Jones has undergone an operation after picking up a problem in training and he is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Ferguson admits it is disappointing to lose a player of Jones' quality, although the defensive crisis from earlier in the season is gradually easing.

Chris Smalling is closing in on a return to action following a broken foot, while Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand have already made their comebacks.

While the international break allowed Evans to get some minutes under his belt for Northern Ireland, Van Persie and Kagawa picked up knocks playing for their countries.

However, Ferguson has confirmed that both players are in his plans ahead of the Premier League clash with the Latics on Saturday.

"On the injury front, everyone's fit, apart from the ones we know about - Jones and Smalling," said the United boss.

"Jones was a bad blow for us. He got an injury in training last weekend and he'll be out for eight to 10 weeks.

"We expect Smalling to be back training by the end of the month. There's a little bit of comfort in that sense, given our centre-back situation. But with Jonny [Evans] back we're in a better position than we were a couple of weeks ago."