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Manchester United's Marcos Rojo plays 45 minutes for under-23 team

LEIGH, England -- Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has made his comeback after 209 days out injured.

The 27-year-old moved a step closer to a first-team return with 45 minutes for the Under-23s against Athletic Bilbao in the Premier League International Cup at Leigh Sports Village.

It was the Argentine's first appearance since suffering a knee ligament injury against Anderlecht in the Europa League quarterfinal second leg on April 20 -- the same game that Zlatan Ibrahimovic also damaged his knee ligaments.

It is a timely boost for Jose Mourinho, who has concerns over Phil Jones after he limped off during England's friendly with Germany with a thigh problem.

Jones returned to Carrington over the weekend and is a doubt for Newcastle's visit to Old Trafford on Saturday, although there remains a hope he could still be passed fit.

Marcos Rojo
Marcos Rojo returned to action for the first time in 209 days.

The game against Rafael Benitez's side is likely to come too soon for Rojo after seven months out. He is targeting the Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow on Dec. 5 as a possible return to the first team.

The U23s, who also had Scott McTominay in midfield and James Wilson up front, beat Bilbao 2-1 thanks to a late winner from Ethan Hamilton.

The Spanish side went ahead after 10 minutes through Gorka Guruzeta before Wilson equalised with a well-taken header shortly after half-time, the 21-year-old's third goal in the competition after scoring both goals in the 2-1 win over Swansea.

Rojo's replacement, Tyrell Warren, made a fantastic goal-line clearance to keep the score at 1-1, allowing Hamilton to grab the winner eight minutes from time.

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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