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Man United's Jones injured with England

Press Association logoPress Association 21/03/2017

Manchester United are sweating on Phil Jones' fitness after the defender sustained a foot injury in England training on the eve of the international friendly with Germany.

A nagging spell of injuries over recent years looked to have stunted the 25-year-old's progress, yet he has established himself as a key player under Jose Mourinho since returning to the fold in November.

Jones' form led to an international recall for Gareth Southgate's first matches as permanent England manager, although hopes of a first cap since November 2015 have been thwarted by a training ground incident.

The centre-back was hurt on the eve of the glamour friendly in Germany and has now returned to United for assessment.

"We don't know," Southgate said when asked about the severity of Jones' issue.

"We didn't feel it was an injury that we could treat and have him ready for the game tomorrow.

"We have got to respectfully send him back to the club and we'll know more once he's had a scan or an X-ray and see where he is at.

"It was just a sort of innocuous tackle, basically.

"He's caught the bottom of somebody's foot, so a possible injury to his toe but we'll know more over the next 24, 36 hours."

Jones will also miss the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

As expected, Gary Cahill was confirmed as captain with Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney having been omitted from the squad.

England hope it is a happy omen that the Chelsea man is in charge again after he led them to a 3-2 victory in Berlin when the two teams met a year ago but another captain will have to be chosen for the Lithuania match as Cahill is suspended.

"Gary's in very good form, he's one of the players in the squad who knows what's needed to win. He has won every trophy in football," said Southgate.

"This season, in particular, he is growing in confidence and stature, showing real confidence on the ball.

"His experience sometimes is overlooked in terms of what he brings because he goes quietly about his job."

Southgate will bear the Wembley match in mind when selecting his line-up in Dortmund, so too recent club matches when it comes to the likes of Manchester City's Raheem Sterling.

"Raheem is one we need to assess," the Three Lions boss said. "He obviously had quite a heavy week in terms of load and everything else with the game in Monaco and against Liverpool.

"I've got to balance what is right for tomorrow and what is right for Sunday as well, but we'll keep monitoring that.

"We are in a position where we haven't been able to get all the players on the field until today and then you've got to see how they come through training and who is ready for tomorrow.

"It's a little bit later than we'd like but that's the nature of the game tomorrow."

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