England manager Gareth Southgate has said he has “massive empathy” for Jose Mourinho after the Manchester United boss complained about Phil Jones receiving pain-killing injections to play against Germany.
The in-form defender limped off during the first half of that goalless draw on November 10 and has missed United’s last four games with a thigh problem.
Mourinho said last week that Jones had been playing with a slight strain that United’s staff had been managing, but the 25-year-old was then given six jabs by England’s doctors before the Germany friendly.
Speaking to reporters on the eve of the draw for the 2018 World Cup, Southgate said: “First and foremost, I have massive empathy with Jose.
“As a manager, you don’t want to lose players to injury. For me, as the national coach, that’s the worst scenario when a player goes back to his club and is not able to play.”
Southgate continued: “Manchester United are incredibly supportive of everything we do. Sometimes people suggest that is not the case but they are arguably our most supportive club. We are very conscious of our relationship with them.
“We have got ongoing dialogue over this situation – it is a complex one and we want to make sure we get these things right.
“Equally, I have every trust in our medical team that they make the right calls. They are very experienced people and this is an unfortunate situation and we hope Phil is back playing as soon as he can be.”