Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs says Phil Jones should be fit to make England squad for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, but admits the defender alongside Wayne Rooney are unlikely to be ready for Sunday’s trip to Southampton.
Jones, 22, pulled up in the 18th minute of Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Hull City and was immediately sent to hospital with his arm in a sling after colliding with ‘Tigers’ defender Maynor Figueroa.
The injury has placed a doubt on his chances of making coach Roy Hodgson’s 30-man provisional squad for a training camp in Portugal this month.
“Phil Jones’s injury is not as bad as I thought,” Giggs said in his news conference. “His shoulder just popped out. He won’t be fit for Sunday but he will be OK for the World Cup.”
Striker, Rooney, 28, who missed United’s final home game of the season due to illness and a minor groin injury, has returned to training. He is as well uncertain for Sunday afternoon’s kick-off at the St. Mary’s Stadium but will be fit to be part of the England squad list due for Monday.
“Rooney has just started training over the last couple of days. Sunday is a little bit too quick for him. He is obviously training and will be fine for the World Cup,” added Giggs, who claimed the maiden edition of the club Lifetime Achievement Award last night at their season-ending award gala.
Giggs, who has won two and lost one of his three games in charge of the club, said he has relished every moment of club management, despite the challenges.
“I’ve enjoyed it, said Giggs, referring to his three-match long role as interim boss. “It’s helped me prepare for what will come after my playing career.”
The Welshman, 40, said there is no pressure on him to guide United into next season’s Europa League.
The ‘Red Devils’ are seventh in the league table and could only finish sixth on goal difference if they beat Mouricio Pochettino’s Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur lose at home to Aston Villa.
Giggs continued: “There is not really a lot of pressure on me at the moment because it is just four games and we can’t really win anything. We can only qualify for the Europa League and we will carry on trying to do that. You get a little taste of the pressure you are put under with regards to picking teams and wanting to do your best.
United awards 2014
Rooney’s spectacular strike in the 3-0 win over West Ham United on March 22, won United’s Goal of the Season award, while Spanish shot-stopper David de Gea won double honours in the Sir Matt Busby’s Player of the Year Award and United Players’ Player of the Year Award.
“I try to speak in English,” De Gea said, while receiving the Players’ Player of the Year award from compatriot Juan Mata. “I’m really happy with this honour and very grateful. I’m looking forward to next year. Thank you very much.”
Teengers James Wilson and Saidy Janko claimed the Jimmy Murphy Academy Player of the Year and the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year awards respectively.
Wilson marked his first senior appearance for United with a brace in the win over Hull City and is expected to commit his future to the club, according to a Daily Telegraph report. The 18-year-old is set to sign a new long-term contract this month, with his current deal set to expire in the summer.