Manchester United defender Phil Jones to miss Real Madrid clash through illness

Defender has been struck down by a bout of shingles

Phil Jones is likely to be ruled out of Manchester United's Champions League last-16 first-leg encounter with Real Madrid next week after being struck down by a bout of shingles.

Jones missed United's Barclays Premier League win at Fulham on Saturday and 24 hours later was withdrawn from the England Under-21 squad for tomorrow night's encounter with Sweden in Walsall.

No reason was given by the Old Trafford outfit for the absences.

However, England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has confirmed Jones is suffering from shingles.

"Jones picked up shingles and there's not a lot we can do about it," said Pearce to several national newspapers.

"It's a shame because it makes us stronger when Phil's here, that's for sure. But it gives someone else a chance."

A similar virus to chicken-pox, shingles is relatively common and the symptoms last for at least a fortnight.

So, depending upon the severity, it is difficult to see Jones recovering in time to make the trip to Madrid for next Wednesday's game.

It would be a blow to Sir Alex Ferguson too as the youngster recently excelled in a central midfield role against Tottenham and United might have been looking for Jones to carry out the same duties again as they look to get a positive result to take back to Old Trafford for the decider on March 5.

PA

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