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The Red Devils boss is set to have his defensive options boosted after confirming the duo should return within the next week after failing to make an appearance so far this season

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones could be poised to make a return to action within the next week, with the former a possibility for the Champions League trip to Braga on November 7.

Goal.com exclusively revealed on October 23 that Smalling was closing in on a return to action after being sidelined with a broken metatarsal picked up in the summer.

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Like Smalling, ex-Blackburn Rovers man Jones has yet to play for the club so far this season after picking up back and knee injuries.

"We will try to push Chris on quickly” he told reporters. “I don't think he will make Wednesday's game [against Chelsea] but I am sure he will be ready for the following week.

"There was some hope both he and Phil would be back for this busy schedule. Phil will be starting football training next Monday. He still has some running to do. The good news is they are not far away."

Club captain Nemanja Vidic remains on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery and while he is expected back in December, Goal.com exclusively revealed the club are unwilling to pinpoint a specific return date.

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