‘It was the lowest I’ve ever been’: Phil Jones opens up on his injury ‘hell’ at Manchester United that has kept him out for nearly two years and the ‘really poor’ comments from Rio Ferdinand – who called him a ‘waste of time’ at Old TraffordPhil Jones has opened up on his knee injury ‘hell’ at Manchester UnitedThe defender has not played since January 2020 due to a long-term knee issue Jones revealed he felt like ‘an awful dad’ as he could not give energy to his kidsJones hit out at Rio Ferdinand’s ‘very poor’ comments calling him a waste of time’Jones, 29, also revealed Sir Alex Ferguson helped him this year with a pep talk By Sam Blitz For Mailonline
Published: 03:52 EDT, 19 September 2021 | Updated: 05:49 EDT, 19 September 2021
Phil Jones has opened up about his injury hell at Manchester United that has kept him out of action for nearly two years, revealing this period on the sidelines has left him in tears at times.
The 29-year-old has not played for the Red Devils since scoring in a 6-0 FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers in January 2020 with a long-term meniscal problem in his knee – and has only started playing with the club’s reserves again this month.
Jones has revealed that he has been verbally abused by football fans in the street in front of his daughters, Alaria and Rayah, and has been left in tears with his wife Kayah after his injury problems left him feeling like ‘an awful dad’.
Phil Jones felt ‘the lowest I’ve ever been as a human’ during his Manchester United injury hell
Jones has been out of action since January 2020 (above) with a meniscal issue in his knee
‘It was the lowest I’ve ever been as a human being,’ Jones told The Times. ‘I used to come back (from United’s training ground) and be in bits.
‘My head was an absolute mess. I’d be in tears. I’d say to Kaya, “I don’t know what to do.” I remember us both crying.
‘There were many times I felt an awful dad. You’re trying to give your kids your energy but you can’t.
‘Listen, you’ve got daughters, if your daughter tells you you’re dressing up as a princess, you’re dressing up as a princess, but I just wasn’t there, wasn’t present in the moment. I’d be on my phone or miles away.
Jones (right) believed he was an ‘awful dad’ to his children as he could not give any energy
Jones (right) is now back training with Man United and has played for the club’s reserve team
‘I’m not scared of saying any of this. People and footballers, they’ll put on a front that everything’s all right, but you don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors.’
Jones revealed that he has been struggling with knee problems for the best part of a decade, after having surgery on his knee aged 20 having just played for England at Euro 2012.
The problem subsided for four years until he started feeling more pain in 2016, when Jose Mourinho has manager at Old Trafford. After the January 2020 injury, Jones was set to return after the first coronavirus lockdown but a setback in May saw him go back into surgery in Barcelona, but further lockdowns slowed down his return.
Jones also addressed the ‘very poor’ comments made by his former United team-mate Rio Ferdinand, who described him as a ‘waste of time’ at Old Trafford as he is taking up a spot which could be held by a Red Devils youth team player.
The England international revealed he has been struggling with knee injuries since 2012
Jones also hit back at Rio Ferdinand’s (above) ‘poor’ comments calling him a ‘waste of time’
‘Listen, the respect I’ve got (for Ferdinand) is enormous,’ Jones added. ‘I’ve shared a dressing room with Rio — great professional. Loved playing with him. Great lad, good humour. Learnt so much off him.
‘But what he said was poor. Really poor. I’m not into disputes, not into arguments, and if he didn’t know (what has been going on behind the scenes), he didn’t know.’
Jones also revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson, who signed him at Manchester United in 2011, gave him the perfect pep talk during a movie premiere earlier this year, reminding him of the time he marked Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo out of a Champions League game in 2013.
Jones (left) revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson (right) gave him a pep talk to raise his spirits
‘He was just unbelievable for me,’ Jones said, speaking of the conversation. ‘I went to the premiere of his film with a few players and he came over, we shook hands and then out of the blue he said, “Hey, you were f***ing terrific against Real Madrid away. F***ing marking Ronaldo.” It just gave me so much confidence.
‘To be honest, I didn’t even watch his premiere, I was just sitting there thinking abouthis comment, thinking, ‘He remembers it… someone of his magnitude remembers that.’