KEY POINTS

  • Manchester United defender Phil Jones talks about his battle with injuries
  • Jones gives his honest take on criticisms
  • The 29-year-old insists to fight for a spot in the Red Devils' first team

A Manchester United defender has revealed what he truly feels about being plagued with injuries.

Prior to the arrival of Raphael Varane, one can argue that Phil Jones could’ve been a key figure in Manchester United’s defense.

However, a devastating knee injury has seen him being sidelined and not playing a single senior-team game since January last year.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Times, Jones opened up about the dejection he had to overcome.

According to the 29-year-old, it reached the point where he “completely” lost his mind, thinking his career is over.

"I just couldn’t run, couldn’t pick my leg up to bend it,” Jones admitted. "Everyone was saying, ‘What’s he doing?’ I’d lost my mind completely. I’m thinking, ‘I’m finished, can’t be bothered with all this anymore.’ I went straight to the doc and said, ‘Enough’s enough. I’ve had too many anti-inflammatories, too many injections, too many close shaves. I need this sorted’.”

"It was the lowest I’ve ever been as a human being," he added. "I used to come back [from training] and be in bits. My head was an absolute mess. I’d be in tears. I’d say to my wife, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ I remember us both crying."

Manchester United defender Phil Jones Manchester United defender Phil Jones Photo: AFP / Paul ELLIS

In the past 18 months, Jones has been a subject of criticisms as cynics poked fun at his situation. Fortunately, he managed to remain focused on rehabilitating and swore that he will “have the last laugh.”

"Every footballer has a tag and unfortunately mine is, ‘Let’s have a laugh at him,'" he reasoned. "But - and I say this in the nicest possible way - I know who’ll have the last laugh.”

“I’m super fortunate that I’ll be able to do that because footballers are fortunate - [the keyboard warriors] will still be in their mum’s spare bedroom, sipping Diet Pepsi that’s flat, eating a Pot Noodle, sitting in their boxers, tweeting.”

As it stands, Jones is still hoping for a Manchester United first-team call-up. He has been doing well with his recovery and is now back representing the club’s Under-23 side. 

"It feels almost like I’ve started my career again," he pointed out. “I feel young - not 29 but 25 or 26 - and because I’ve missed so much football I feel I have so much left in me. I’ll fight for [Manchester] United until someone tells me, ‘Go somewhere else.'”