Jonny Evans seeks to return to ease burden on Van Gaal
United defender aims to shorten injury list
Jonny Evans is hoping to be ready to return to first-team action soon to help shorten Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal's injury list.
The defender came through a run-out in the club's reserves during the 5-0 victory against Blackburn Rovers in the Lancashire Senior Cup unscathed and is back in contention ahead of the upcoming home games with Hull City on Saturday and Stoke City on Tuesday.
Evans has been out with a broken foot since the defeat at Leicester City in September and fellow centre-backs Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are also sidelined, while Paddy McNair, Chris Smalling and Tyler Blackett have been unavailable at various times due to injury and suspension.
"It's nice to get 60-odd minutes under my belt," Evans said.
"It's been a long time coming. I didn't expect to be out this long so I'm pleased to get some minutes. I thought the lads played well and it was an enjoyable game to be part of.
"I think the manager will have to assess that (a first-team recall) and also the fitness coaches. I've been training for a week or two now but it's taking me time to get my fitness up as I've been out for so long."
Evans is obviously relishing the opportunity to cement a place in Louis van Gaal's starting XI on a regular basis, like the other defenders who have been frustrated to pick up knocks when bidding to impress the Dutchman.
"That's the aim," he stated. "You're looking at that at the start of the season. Players don't get injured on purpose.
"There have been injuries with the odd hamstring or groin, there have been quite a few of those, but Rojo dislocated his shoulder and I had a fracture in my foot. There were a couple of other injuries - Phil Jones has got one that came out of the blue.
"It's hard to say - we don't want any more injuries but what can we do about it? They're freak injuries and it's difficult from that point of view. It'd be nice to get settled in the team - everyone in the squad wants to get settled in their position as well."