Phil Jones, the mercurial central-defender who also plays for England’s national team, suffered a terrible injury against Hull City but has assured grieving fans that he will be back in a few days.
The 24-year-old footballer was substituted after 55 minutes during their tensed 0-0 draw against Hull.
He has recently downplayed the injury scare, telling fans that he could be available for United’s away trip to Leicester City on Sunday.
The veteran defender was applauded by fans and football lovers as he walked down the tunnel with his right boot in hand.
Another quality player, Chris Smalling, was brought in as a replacement but admirers still want their idol fit for future games. A versatile Daley Blind, Marcus Rojo and Eric Bailly are available to fill in the gap for Jones.
Phil Jones game by numbers vs. Hull: 100% aerial duels won 100% tackles won 96% pass acc. 3 clearances 2 interceptions Subbed off injured. https://t.co/NfcqAKIdlj
“My foot’s bruised but I’ll be fine,” he told MUTV in a post-match interview.
“It’s nothing sinister, nothing serious, so hopefully in a few days I’ll be fine.”
Jones also talked about United’s disappointing result, saying his teammates were all downcast. A victory against the Tigers would have closed down the 4-point gap between Mourinho’s men and fifth place holders Manchester City.
“We needed to win tonight, especially with the results yesterday which fell in our favor,” he said.
“We said before the game that this was our chance to put some pressure on the teams above us. We knew that teams around us would slip up and they have done, but we couldn’t capitalize on it. We’re bitterly disappointed. The lads are down in the dressing room, as you’d expect.”
The United defender praised Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, whose brave saves denied Jones and his teammates a chance to all three points at stake.
“I think if we had scored in the first 20 minutes, then you couldn’t have seen much of a way back for Hull with us 1-0 up, creating chance after chance,” said the Reds defender who also played for Blackburn Rovers at both youth and senior levels. “But we just couldn’t get that goal.
“Their keeper pulled off an absolutely heroic save from Juan [Mata, in the second half]. There’s nothing you can do.
“We’ve said it so many times this season that a goalkeeper has come here and been world class. But listen, it’s no excuse. We needed to win the game. We’ve not won the game.
“All we can do now is look towards Leicester on Sunday. Thank God it comes around quickly because we can try and put things right again.”
Talking about Manchester United’s chances of jumping from their current position in the league table, he said: “Of course, but straight after the game you’re not looking too far ahead. You’re just disappointed with the game, how things have gone.
“I don’t think we played too badly tonight. We moved the ball well in patches but just couldn’t get the winning goal. It’s been the same story a few times here at Old Trafford.”
Jones is popular for his physical power and stature. He has been called a “jack of all trades” for his versatility on the pitch.
Sir Alex Ferguson said in 2013 that Jones has the potentials to be United’s best player ever.