In an attempt to improve his fitness and stay injury-free for the 2015-16 campaign, Manchester United’s Luke Shaw took one of the club’s fitness coaches with him on his personal summer holiday. The left-back lost three kilos, enjoyed a strong pre-season and started to produce his best displays in a United shirt.
His excellent form saw him start United’s first eight games this term and re-establish himself as an England international, however the big season he had ahead of him was halted on September 15.
Injury and rehabilitation
Following a challenge with PSV Eindhoven centre-back Hector Moreno, Shaw suffered a double leg fracture in a Champions League group stage tie that United would go on to lose 2-1. Having been rushed to a Dutch hospital on the same night in order to undergo immediate surgery, the 20-year-old has been going through an intense rehabilitation programme ever since.
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Return to training
Early this month for the first time since his horrific leg break, Shaw was out on the training pitch at United’s AON Training Complex to begin work with a club physio. Prior to this, all of the star’s recovery was done in the gym or through non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming and cycling.
Although Shaw only returned to light training, United boss Louis van Gaal believes that the former Southampton man is “very close” to full-contact training.
When will Shaw make his comeback?
Medical staff initially told Shaw that he would need at least six months to fully recover from his broken leg and last month, the Manchester Evening News reported that he could make his long-awaited return in May, before the end of the current campaign.
The talented full-back was visibly seen willing his teammates to Europa League glory, hinting on social media that the May 18 final was a realistic target for his comeback. Of course, the Red Devils were knocked out of the competition in convincing fashion by bitter rivals Liverpool.
However Van Gaal’s side are through to the FA Cup final and will face Crystal Palace in the showdown on May 21. If Shaw was confident of making his comeback in the Europa League final, that should mean he has a great chance of making at least an appearance in the FA Cup final against Alan Pardew's men.
Possible England return?
If Shaw does play again for Man United this season, he’ll still feel that there’s a slight chance he could force his way into Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2016. Players like Leighton Baines, Ryan Bertrand and Danny Rose have failed to nail down the left-back spot in his absence, however it’s probably in Shaw’s best long-term interests that he misses out this summer and recovers fully ahead of next season.
Should Shaw be included in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad if he returns to full fitness? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!