Manchester United manager has delivered positive news regarding Luke Shaw's injury recovery ahead of the Red Devils' trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on Sunday (17 January). The Dutchman has admitted that the defender's recovery is ahead of schedule but has ruled out a swift return to training for the young player.
The 22-year-old left-back, who was United's best player at the start of the season, suffered a double leg break during their opening Champions League group stage clash against PSV Eindhoven and is expected to miss the entire 2015/16 campaign. The club were hopeful that he will return by March but the manager is unsure if a return in three months is a possibility.
The 20-times English champions have struggled in the full-back positions this campaign, with the manager using a number of players to fill in the gap left by the former Southampton star. Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and youngster Cameron Borthwick-Jackson have all been deployed at left-back at various stages this campaign and it looks set to continue for foreseeable future.
Shaw prompted an earlier than expected return from the injury when he posted a picture of himself walking without crutches but Van Gaal is wary of expecting his defender back ahead of the expected date due to the severity of the injury.
"Shaw was with his surgeon and everything is going well. His bone is growing and that is very positive but he needs time," Van Gaal told United's official site.
"He could return ahead of schedule, yes, but when I say that then everybody thinks he is coming back within three months but it is not like that, you cannot say that. At this moment he is ahead in his rehabilitation but there are also weeks when he is slow. At the end, it is mostly the same [length of] time," the Dutchman added.