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The 20-year-old defender is three weeks away from a return to action for Sir Alex Ferguson's side after undergoing knee surgery in September

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart

Phil Jones is set to return to first-team training during the international break and is targeting a comeback for Manchester United’s away clash against Chelsea on October 28.

The defender is yet to play this season, having undergone surgery in September on a cartilage tear in his knee.

Jones, 20, is on course to return in line with the eight-week lay-off anticipated by United when he went under the knife and has been running at the club’s Carrington training ground for the last two weeks as he strengthens his knee.

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"Phil has been working hard, he's slightly ahead of schedule and is looking at the Chelsea game at the end of the month for his return," a United source told Goal.com.

United kept just their third clean sheet of the season in the 3-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday amid a number of injury problems at the back.

However, with Chris Smalling closing in on a return and Jones also making good progress, Sir Alex Ferguson is set to receive a huge boost in the next few weeks.

Jones, who can play at centre-back, right-back or central midfield, made 41 appearances for United last season and has been a success at Old Trafford since arriving from Blackburn for £16.5 million in June 2011.

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