Jonny Evans has shrugged off worries about another injury, confirming his full fitness after a scare whilst on international duty for Northern Ireland.
Despite not playing for Manchester United's first team so far this season - although he did feature for 90 minutes as an overage player in the Under-21s - Evans was thrust into Michael O’Neill’s side for the World Cup qualifying defeat to Russia on Friday.
The 25 year-old, who had surgery in the summer, limped off at half-time but managed to play the full match having had a heavier strapping applied during the interval. Fortunately, the Reds defender came through unscathed.
“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.”
So far, Sir Alex Ferguson has navigated United’s opening fixtures of the new campaign with limited defensive resources and might have been concerned by Evans’ surprise return to international football.
However, Northern Ireland manager O’Neill, who admits he has made no contact with Sir Alex over the fitness of his star defender, insists he is not taking any risks.