Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans insists he is fit to face Luxembourg

The Manchester United centre-back claims he is fully fit despite failing to represent the Red Devils this season, with boss Michael O'Neill underlining that no risks will be taken

Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans has insisted that he is fit to face Luxembourg, despite having to have his ankle heavily strapped against Russia last time out.

The centre-back was called up by national team boss Michael O’Neill despite not featuring for Manchester United so far this term due to ankle surgery during the summer, and played the full 90 minutes against Fabio Capello’s men

And Evans has insisted that he is fit to face Luxembourg on Tuesday in light of assumptions from some quarters that he had been ruled out.

4/9 Northern Ireland is 4/9 to beat Luxembourg with bet365

“I have only played one reserve game for United this season after having the surgery in the summer so, to be honest, it was just good to get back on the pitch,” Evans told BBC Sport.

“But I felt my ankle after about five minutes. It was the same one I had surgery on in the summer but I got a heavier strap put on it and I was able to carry on for the second half.

“I was disappointed I felt pain so quickly in the game but if I am being honest, I always expected I would feel a little pain - just not that early.

“After a couple of painkillers it did feel a bit better and if anything I felt stronger as the game went on, but like I say, I had a heavier strapping on then.”

The news will come as a boost to Sir Alex Ferguson who has had to contest with limited defensive resources during the start of the new season.

However, O’Neill admitted he has made no contact with the United manager over the fitness of his star defender and insists he is not taking any risks by playing Evans.

O’Neill said: “We have no major concerns over Jonny but we just have to manage him between now and Tuesday. If there was any risk, we wouldn't take that risk and neither would Jonny.”