The encouraging news that Luke Shaw returned to training on Monday is a welcome boost for Manchester United and England.
The left-back, whose excellent start to the season was cruelly halted by a dangerous challenge from PSV's Hector Moreno in September, was emerging as a key player for the Red Devils after a frustrating first season at Old Trafford.
Shaw was also in the process of cementing his place in Roy Hodgson's England team for
Euro 2016 and would have been a guaranteed starter, providing his form continued.
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At just 20-years-old, Shaw still has many years left to improve his game and become a success for both club and country, but returning to training after a lay-off of seven months is only another small step forwards on his long road to recovery.
The full-back must regain match fitness and mental strength before he is considered for a full return to action. Corners must not be cut and rushing him back too quickly could hold detrimental consequences where his future is concerned.
Manager Louis van Gaal has been conservative and guarded in his response to questions regarding Shaw's progress and there is no doubt United won't want to risk a player they have invested so much time and money into.
There will have been some excitement from the England camp too, with Hodgson recently refusing to rule Shaw out of his Euro 2016 plans. This could inevitably - and rather repetitively - lead to a club versus country row in the near future.
England are well covered in the left-back area, with Danny Rose and Ryan Bertrand among the obvious choices for that position. Shaw should not be seen as a crucial part of the national team’s plans and, therefore, should be given time and space to recover so that he returns at peak fitness.
The national team has previously rushed players back from recovery too quickly for tournaments. David Beckham and Wayne Rooney were both brought back into the frame for the 2002 and 2006 World Cup respectively and demonstrated a lack of fitness, failing to fully recover from a broken metatarsal and holding very little impact.
The legendary pair were seen as crucial figures in their respective squads and with the nation's hopes and expectations placed firmly on their shoulders, they failed.
Shaw, on the other hand, isn't seen as the messiah of English football ready to guide the Three Lions to success and should be left out of Hodgson's plans for the upcoming tournament.
The 20-year-old would benefit from a summer of relaxing and waiting until the United squad reunite for pre-season training.
Shaw will likely be England’s left-back for years to come and go on to represent his country at numerous tournaments in the future; it would be fruitless and premature to rush him back in time for the European Championships.
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