Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Luke Shaw is ‘very close’ for a return to first team action.
The England international had been sidelined with a long term injury after suffering a double leg break in the UEFA Champions League group stage clash against PSV Eindhoven back in September. Shaw returned to training this week and Van Gaal has hinted that the left back could yet feature for the club before the season has ended.
“He is not in the team, he is training on the pitch and on the grass,” said Van Gaal.
“He has to adapt his muscles and legs to the pitch, and that is the difference. It is fantastic that he is coming back but he is training individually with a physio, to adapt to the ground of the pitch. That is the first step.”
The former Southampton man will be hoping to get on Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the European Championship in France in the summer after a lengthy seven months lay-off.
“Everybody is very happy for him because it is a very long rehabilitation. It is now more than seven months I believe. We are very happy for him and he is very close now,” added Van Gaal.
“We have a big squad now, we are training with 26 people and we have to adapt to that new situation again, but it is very promising now.”
United will be heading to North London on Sunday for a Premier League clash with title chasing Tottenham Hotspur. Van Gaal also confirmed that Phil Jones and Ashley Young are in contention to make the squad although Adnan Januzaj will miss the trip through injury.
The young Belgian hasn’t started a game for United since returning from his unsuccessful loan spell with Borussia Dortmund. Ashley Young was an unused substitute versus Everton last week and along with Phil Jones, started in the U-21 clash against Chelsea on Monday.
Captain Wayne Rooney who has missed 11 games through a knee injury has returned to training and will feature for the club’s U-21 side in a game against Middlesborough at Old Trafford on Monday.