Manchester United’s Phil Jones has opened up about his struggles with injuries and various other issues, admitting that the last few years have been hell for him. But the defender also added that he sees the ‘light at the end of the tunnel now’ and believes that he has found a balance now.
Once considered to be an incredibly talented defender, Phil Jones signed for Manchester United from Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2011 with the expectations of the world. So much so, that Jones played regularly for England with the defender earning call-ups at every international break until 2012. It was then injuries struck the now 29-year-old, with that practically defining the course of the Englishman’s career.
However, the last few years have been especially hard on Phil Jones as he hasn’t played a single game of professional football since January 2020. That’s because of a knee injury that has kept the defender out for just over 454 days, according to Transfermarkt, but he has recently returned to full-time training. in an interview, Jones has revealed that he has “been through hell and back over” the last few years although he is glad to see the “light at the end of the tunnel now”.
"I've been through hell and back over the last couple of years. I struggled with my knee a little bit and (there) came a point after lockdown where I thought enough was enough. I kept myself in great shape over lockdown and came back. But I remember just training out here [at Carrington] and going into the doc and saying 'enough's enough'," Jones told Manchester United's club website.
“Unfortunately, there was going to be time off the pitch, which I knew was going to be difficult for me, but it was something that I had to do. Thankfully, I see the light at the end of the tunnel now and I've been back training, played a few behind-closed-doors games and I'm feeling really good at the minute."
While the injury layoff has been tough on the defender, the abuse from fans, critics, and neutrals alike has definitely taken a toll on Jones and he admitted as much. The 29-year-old added that this spell was “the lowest” ever he probably felt in his life. However, the defender also revealed that he feels like he’s reached a steady level now and is looking to keep that going.
"I think as a footballer, as a person, as a human being, that's the lowest I probably ever felt in my life. You try and get a balance between football and family life but it was so difficult going home and trying to look after the kids. You're there, but you're not there, you're not present. It's nice to get that balance back,” he added.