News of Ferguson's condition has rocked the football world, which has rallied to support the United statesman.
Jones was signed from Blackburn by Ferguson as a 19-year-old in June 2011 and was part of the Scot's final title-winning squad in 2013 before his retirement in May that year after winning 38 trophies during 26 years in charge.
"I never played for him but I played against him many times - an icon all over the world", Defoe told Press Association Sport.
United defender Phil Jones is also positive on Ferguson's chances of making a full recovery, despite admitting to being "devastated" by the news of his ill health. "Sending prayers and love to [wife] Cathy and the whole family".
A host of Premier League managers, including Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Manchester City's Pep Guardiola, sent their good wishes over the weekend to Ferguson, the most successful manager in the history of the British game.
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Wales manager Ryan Giggs, who was handed his United debut by Ferguson in 1991, said he was praying for his former manager's recovery.
The Bournemouth striker has enjoyed an excellent career, and is now just one goal away from becoming the joint sixth most prolific player in Premier League history, having already scored 162 goals in the EPL. You possibly can exclusively hope and pray that all the pieces goes to be okay. Hopefully, he'll recover well.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte added: "I have had the chance to know him and his wife".
Support has flooded in from the football world and from those outside the game and United midfielder Michael Carrick said that the response shows the esteem in which his former boss is held.
"He told me he is doing a lot of exercise, and he looked very happy but that kind of accident can happen".
'Everybody on the membership is wishing him all one of the best and his household as effectively.