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Feb 5, 2013

Jones set for month out with shingles

Phil Jones could be out for up to four weeks after England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce confirmed the Manchester United defender has been diagnosed with shingles.

• Blog: Are United spineless?

Jones, 20, was omitted from the United line-up ahead of Saturday's 1-0 win over Fulham after being struck down with the illness.

After initially being selected in Pearce's side for Tuesday's international against Sweden, Jones has been withdrawn from the squad and is likely to miss next week's Champions League trip to Real Madrid.

"It's a shame. You want your good players to be here," Pearce said. "But Phil has picked up shingles and there's not a lot we can do about it. But it means someone else gets a chance."

Jones is hopeful of securing a place in Pearce's squad for the Under-21 European Championship in the summer, although the manager admits there are still a number of positions yet to be filled.

"We have had a pretty settled group in the past year," he said. "I've got about 16 pencilled in, so there are still six or seven places up for grabs and this is a chance for Luke Shaw and Will Hughes. Look at Raheem Sterling, he wasn't even on the scene last summer and now he has already got a senior cap."

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