Manchester United defender Phil Jones is happy and relieved to be back playing with the team after a long injury layoff. Before last night's match against Galatasaray, Jones had not made a first team appearance since the last day of the 2011-12 Premier League season.
Sir Alex Ferguson named a much changed side for the Champions League match in Turkey and Jones played the full 90 minutes in central defense. Even though the night ended in a disappointing 1-0 loss, Jones relished the opportunity to play again and enjoyed his time on the pitch. Jones has had to endure the injuries he suffered plus the long road back to fitness. The defender injured his back originally which guaranteed many weeks on the sidelines but then he also suffered a devastating knee injury that required surgery. Jones admits that the recovery process had been long and difficult but he is delighted to have finally put those days behind him and he is ready to prove his worth in the months to come.
"I'm delighted to get through the 90 minutes,"Jones said. "I'm buzzing about that. It's been difficult. I've had my downs. I picked up a few niggles and had surgery on my knee so I've had a pretty wretched four or five months. I've been in the gym every day and it's not easy. I had to concentrate on getting myself fit and worked quite hard to get to where I am now so I'm just delighted to be back. I'll feel stiff on Wednesday but everything is fine. Hopefully I can push on now, get back in the team and prove why I should be here."
Getting back in the team should not be too difficult for Jones as injuries to Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans has left United desperately needing fit defenders. Jones went on to comment on the difficult playing surface in Turkey and also the challenging atmosphere inside the Turk Telecom Arena. Jones stated it was the best atmosphere he has ever played in and said that he found it hard to communicate with his goalkeeper and teammates due to the noise level in the stadium. United now set their sites on bouncing back in the Premier League after a disappointing loss away to Norwich last weekend. The Red Devils take on Queens Park Rangers on Saturday at Old Trafford.
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