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Phil Jones and Rafael could return in time for Wigan

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Clive Mason

After the defeat of West Bromwich Albion today, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that both Phil Jones and Rafael could possibly make returns for the New Year's Day match against Wigan Athletic. Jones was injured in last weekend's game versus Swansea City while Rafael has not made an appearance since the Manchester derby on December 9. Here's what the gaffer had to say about the duo:

"Phil could be ready and Rafa will be ready. We rested Robin [van Persie], Chicharito, Ryan [Giggs] and Paul [Scholes] against West Brom so we've got enough freshness to bring in. Wigan had a great result today [winning 3-0 at Aston Villa] - it'll be a hard game on Tuesday."

- Ferguson | Source: MUTV

Squad rotation is obviously important right now because of the current congested holiday fixture list. Chris Smalling has featured thrice this past week at right-back and it appears that either Rafael or Jones could allow him to be rested on New Year's Day at Wigan.