Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw's hopes of making his long-awaited comeback from injury during the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace later this month are over after manager Louis van Gaal claimed that he would not be back until next season. The former Southampton defender has not played since September 2015, when he suffered a double fracture of his right leg following a robust tackle from Hector Moreno during a Champions League group stage defeat to PSV Eindhoven.
After surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation, Shaw took his first tentative steps back onto the training pitch in early April and stepped up his return to fitness during sessions with the U21s last week. Van Gaal had previously used United's possible presence in either the Europa League or FA Cup final as an incentive and a goal for the 20-year-old to work towards during his recovery, although hopes of a Wembley appearance have now been abandoned.
"I have always said to him that he can play in the final to keep his motivation high, but now I cannot say that anymore because we are in the final [next weekend]," the manager told MUTV.
"It is a pity because he cannot reach that level to play. He needs more time to play. His motivation is still high and I have to give compliments to him because it is not easy to be away for such a long time. He is coming back, but he is coming back next season."
11-time winners United's first appearance in the FA Cup showpiece since 2007 is now just over a fortnight away, but they cannot afford to allow their focus to drift ahead of the final match of the Premier League season on 15 May. Van Gaal's side, beaten 3-2 by West Ham earlier this week, welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford knowing that they have to win and hope that fourth-place Manchester City lose at Swansea City if they are to secure entry into the Champions League qualification play-off round and avoid another stint in Europe's much-maligned secondary club competition.
Addressing the rest of his team news ahead of that crucial clash, the Dutchman said: "Ashley Young is coming in, so he is restored of his injury and can train on 14 May with our squad. But it is one training session.
"Unfortunately Adnan Januzaj has been injured in the training session, so he is out for Sunday. We have to wait and see for the final. The rest is like it was. Mateo Darmian is still out but can be in. It is dependable on the progress. Bastian Schweinsteiger is out and Luke Shaw is out."