Phil Jones 'has a fight on his hands' to be ready for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Real Madrid, according to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Jones limped out of United's FA Cup fifth round win over Reading after sustaining an ankle injury and initial reports suggested he would almost certainly miss the visit of Jose Mourinho's side to Old Trafford.
The England international is making progress in his battle to be fit in time, but Ferguson admits he will have to work hard if he is to be available for selection.
“Phil Jones starts running today," Ferguson told reporters at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League tie with Norwich.
“He’s got a fight on his hands to be ready for Tuesday but we’ll give him every chance. He won't be available for tomorrow."
Robin Van Persie has been passed fit for the visit of the Canaries and is in contention to start.
Van Persie suffered bruising to his hip when he collided with a television camera during last weekend’s 2-0 win at QPR, but he has trained all week and could feature against Norwich as Ferguson looks to maintain their 12-point lead over Manchester City.
“We have no injury issues. Robin van Persie has trained this week – he's available for tomorrow. His hip was very tender but he's okay now," Ferguson revealed.
“Tomorrow is an important one because Tuesday will look after itself. It's an occasion on Tuesday whereas tomorrow is the mundane practical situation in that we need to win.”