• Premier League

United trio set for return

ESPN staff
March 29, 2013
Phil Jones is back in training following his recovery from an ankle injury © PA Photos

Manchester United have received a triple injury boost with Nani, Phil Jones and Paul Scholes all back in training as they prepare for two games in 48 hours.

The Premier League leaders travel to Sunderland on Saturday before facing Chelsea in an FA Cup quarter-final replay on Monday with a fully-fit squad - apart from the long-term absentee Darren Fletcher.

Nani has been out since the 2-2 draw with Chelsea on March 10, when he suffered a hamstring injury, while Jones was hurt in the previous round of the FA Cup, sustaining ankle ligament damage in February's 2-1 win over Reading.

Scholes has not played for more than two months because of a knee injury suffered in the fourth round victory against Fulham and has not appeared in the Premier League in 2013.

"Nani, Jones and Scholes are all doing a little bit of training," manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. "Hopefully it will give us a good strong squad to approach the two games on Saturday and Monday. We'll try and keep the momentum going with the run we're in at the moment. If we do that, Monday will take care of itself."

Ferguson is pleased his players have returned unharmed from representing their countries, although several had long journeys and United used private planes to get some back to Manchester sooner.

"I don't think there are any injuries from the internationals which is really good news," Ferguson said. "There's a fair bit of tiredness and the answer to that is to make sure we get the energies back in their bodies. So there's the recovery side to it with not much training.

"There was a fair bit of travel - Chicharito [Javier Hernandez] and [Antonio] Valencia only got in yesterday [Thursday] afternoon and the English players got back at 5am. Other than that, we're very satisfied."

Ferguson was happy that Robin van Persie, who has not scored in his last seven United appearances, ended his goal drought with three in two games for Holland.

"It was the most pleasing thing about the break for me actually," Ferguson added. "He got the three goals for Holland. It's the same with all strikers. When they hit that little dry spell, they're hoping to get out of it as quickly as they can.

"Hopefully, those goals for Holland will help him to do that. His form has not changed, that's the most important thing, but the goals will certainly help and there's no question about that."

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