At the beginning of the season Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw was arguably in the best form of his entire career. The 20-year-old took a fitness coach with him on his summer holiday before the club’s pre-season tour of America and as a result he looked fitter, sharper and better than ever.
He was displaying attacking intent, a natural ability to drive past opponents down the left-hand side and a distinct improvement defensively. However, his momentum came to a crushing halt when he suffered a horrific double leg fracture after a challenge with PSV Eindhoven’s Hector Moreno during the first game of United’s Champions League campaign.
Having been one of United’s star performers up to that point, it came as a huge blow, not only to Shaw himself but also to his teammates, manager and supporters. Louis van Gaal has said that there is a slim chance of the former Southampton man playing again for the Red Devils this season.
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That said, his rehabilitation is going well and Shaw will still have hopes of recovering in time to make Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2016 this summer.
The rehabilitation process
He stayed in Holland following United’s 2-1 loss to PSV and immediately underwent surgery after being admitted into a Dutch hospital. In what must’ve been an extremely difficult time mentally, Shaw was visited by friends, family, PSV manager Phillip Cocu and an emotional Moreno - the man who broke his leg.
The medical staff informed Shaw that he would need at least six months to fully recover from his broken leg. In November, with his treatment well underway, Van Gaal revealed that Shaw was getting “a little bit fed up” by the daily routine of the rehabilitation process. United’s Dutch boss decided to give his player a few days off from his recovery programme at the club’s AON Training Complex.
Generally, Shaw has remained positive throughout the time that he’s been sidelined and he had an encouraging injury update for fans before Christmas. He tweeted to give news on his injury and to wish his fans a Merry Christmas.
The return game
Ahead of PSV’s return trip to Old Trafford in the Champions League, all the build-up was surrounding Shaw despite the player being unavailable for selection and United’s desperate need for three points. Nevertheless the left-back was left heartened when the travelling fans unveiled a banner before kick-off with the message “Get well soon Luke Shaw”.
There’s no doubt that Shaw is a defensive livewire who adds energy, ability and excitement to the United team. He is expected to be out of action for approximately another three months and that means that there’s a real chance he could play for Man United again before the end of the current campaign.
Shaw still has a lot of hard work in front of him on the road to recovery, but the signs at this moment in time are incredibly promising and the 20-year-old’s attitude remains positive. One thing that’s not in question is the tremendous reception that Shaw will receive from all football fans upon his return to first-team football in 2016.
Should Shaw be called up to Roy Hodgson's Eurp 2016 squad if he is fully fit? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!