German World-Cup winning midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has returned to first team training at Manchester United after months spent with the reserves, excluded from any contact with the first team squad.
Schweinsteiger, Jones return to training
Schweinsteiger was bought by Louis van Gaal in the Dutchman's second summer at the club, alongside Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian. At the time, the £6million pricetag for one of Europe's finest midfielders of this generation was seen as fantastic, but his performances have far from lived up to expectation and Jose Mourinho was decisive upon arriving at Old Trafford, denying Schweinsteiger the chance to train with the first team.
Many saw such treatment as harsh, particularly those in his country Germany with players such as Lukas Podolski and Manuel Neuer complaining about Schweinsteiger's exclusion under Mourinho. Now, however, after only one win in seven league games for Mourinho, Schweinsteiger trained with the first team.
Whether the 32-year-old will also return to the matchday squad is yet to be seen, with many others like Schneiderlin and summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan also often being ignored by Mourinho. Schweinsteiger hasn't played a competitive fixture since Germany's Euro semi-final in July and hasn't featured for United since March under van Gaal.
The German chose to stay at the club in August despite rumours surrounding his future and despite being told he wasn't needed by Mourinho, according to reports. However, he tweeted during that time that "Manchester United will be my last club in Europe" because they were "the only one which could make me leave Bayern Munich" and "I will be ready, if the team needs me."
Schweinsteiger had been in cold after Mourinho arrival
Meanwhile, defender Phil Jones made his return from a spell of injuries, of which have plagued his Old Trafford career, and will hope to be given a chance to reignite his United career after injuries to Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia, and Chris Smalling.
The under-23s captain Axel Tuanzebe was featured in first team training alongside young left-back Joe Riley, converted from a winger in recent years, who scored in Warren Joyce's side's 1-1 draw with Tottenham's under-23s last Friday.