EPL 2012 -13: Double defensive boost for Manchester United


Double defensive boost for Man United
Manchester, Oct 18: Manchester United have been handed a double defensive boost as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are close to getting back to full fitness while winger Ashley Young returned to training ahead of Saturday's clash against Stoke City.

However, England international Jones may not be available for the clash against the Potters, but Smalling is in line to face Stoke along with Young.

The former Aston Villa winger was sidelined for eight games after damaging his knee against Fulham in August but the 27-year-old is back in training with the first team.

Smalling, who was ruled out since the last home game against Swansea City in May, recovered but suffered another setback in which he broke his foot in pre-season.

Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been sweating on his defenders fitness this season. United have been relying on veteran Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans at centre-back after captain Nemanja Vidic underwent knee surgery.

Jones, 20, is yet to play a match this season after suffering a knee injury. The England international is set to return against Arsenal on Nov 3.

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