Manchester United and England defender Phil Jones has come out fighting for the removal of a label that has plagued his name.
Jones was carted off against Germany on Friday, in a friendly international after aggravating a thigh injury, which again sparked the conversation about the defender's proneness to injury.
However, after the 0-0 stalemate, Jones was rather candid as he came to his own defence of his health issues: “I could give you a list of 40 Premier League players who’ve had far more injuries than me and nobody talks about them.
“Maybe that’s because I play for United and that’s the way it is. But I’ve never seen myself as that”, said Jones, via The Sun.
Despite being subbed off prematurely against Germany, Jones is likely to be fit by the weekend and could even stay with the England squad ahead of their next friendly against Brazil on Tuesday.
The English defender has featured in all 11 Premier League games thus far, yet it has not been enough to disperse the endless reports questioning his health concerns. It's been a constant theme of 'will he, won't he' play this season for the Englishman.
“It’s a fine line. People think you’re injured. I’m not injured, I’m just carrying a little niggle.
“It doesn’t mean you’re injured, you’re managing it for the next game. Injuries get misinterpreted."
Against Leicester earlier in the season, boss Jose Mourinho revealed Jones picked up an injury, yet was able to play against Malta and Slovakia back-to-back during the September internationals
Being injury prone is a label that Jones has had to accept during his career, and the United defender joked heartedly about how that label has worked its way into his household.
“My wife is always saying I’m clumsy but that’s little stuff around the house. I two-foot her in the kitchen!”
Jones also set the record straight on his limits as a defender, claiming: “I’m not trying to be a hero but you have to put your body on the line. I have a physical side but I can also play out from the back.”