Wayne Rooney is set to miss Manchester United's Premier League meeting with basement dwellers QPR this weekend.
The England striker has missed most of training this week due to illness and the league leaders' in-house television channel, MUTV, reports that the striker is unlikely to travel to London for the match on Saturday.
Concerns over whether the striker will be fit for the visit of Real Madrid have been allayed, with the club confident he will line-up for the second-leg of the Champions League tie against their Spanish opponents.
However, the visit of Cristiano Ronaldo and co will likely come too soon for Phil Jones, with Sir Alex Ferguson confirming this morning that the enforcer has only an “outside chance” of being fit for the match on March 5.
Jones suffered an ankle injury during Monday's FA Cup win over Reading and is having intense treatment in the hope of being available for the Old Trafford encounter.
"We are working very hard. He has an outside chance for Real Madrid - no more than that," Ferguson said.
Jones will certainly miss the QPR match, and Ferguson knows his absence from the Real Madrid game would cause him a headache given how well the former Blackburn man performed in his task of keeping Ronaldo quiet in the first leg last week.
"He is a young man who went into a tackle too brave and was a bit off-balanced," said Ferguson.
"He certainly won't be fit for the weekend."
During today's press conference Ferguson repeated his mantra that, with United 12 points clear of Manchester City with 12 games remaining in the Barclays Premier League, destiny is very much in their own hands.
"The only way we can approach it is by taking care of each game and eventually we run out of matches," Ferguson said.
"I can understand from Manchester City's point of view why they are talking about us dropping points.
"But the fact of the matter is they will drop them as well."
It was also the first time Ferguson had spoken publicly since David Gill announced his intention to stand down as chief executive.
The United boss has had a close working relationship with Gill, who apparently mooted his exit some time ago.
"David spoke to me about it some weeks ago," Ferguson said.
"I was surprised because he is still a young man but I understand where he is coming from.
"Sixteen years in that particular job is not easy."Reuse content