Evans could be fit for United return

Jonny Evans has been sidelined with a hamstring injury but could return this weekend

Jonny Evans has been sidelined with a hamstring injury but could return this weekend

First published in National Sport News © by

Jonny Evans could return to the Manchester United squad for Saturday's trip to Fulham.

The centre-back has been sidelined with a hamstring injury but is due to return to training on Friday and could be in contention for the Craven Cottage encounter. However, Ashley Young has still not recovered from his knee problem.

"Ashley is still not available but hopefully Jonny will train today, which will give us another option. That is good news," said Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson intends to make changes and Rio Ferdinand has been lined up for a start, which means Phil Jones might get a rest.

Jones was at the head of a group of players with senior England caps who was selected for under-21 duty on Thursday when the respective squads were announced for next week's friendlies. As part of Roy Hodgson's squad at Euro 2012, it could be seen as a bit of a climbdown for the former Blackburn man.

Indeed, there have been suggestions Ferguson is unhappy at the prospect. If that is true, the Scot was giving little indication of it on Friday morning.

"I have not really paid much attention to it," he said. "I am a bit surprised he was in the under-21 squad and not the full one.

"I think the main difficulty with players dropping down is that once they get into the full squad it makes them feel they have achieved something. But Phil is only 20 and maybe the idea is to get as good an under-21 squad as they can."

Meanwhile, Ferguson confirmed the Old Trafford pitch, which has been the subject of so much criticism recently, will be ripped up at the end of the season.

"It has never recovered from the deluge we suffered over Christmas," said Ferguson. "Before that it was fine. It has been down for nine years now and it needs to be replaced."

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