Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that Luke Shaw is well on course for a complete recovery after multiple fractures he sustained in his right leg during a game against PSV Eindoven in the group stage of the Champions League. However, the Dutchman declined to disclose a timeline for the 20-year-old defender's return, likely only next year.
The Red Devils secured an important win over CSKA Moscow as Wayne Rooney broke his goal-scoring drought, also ending United's over 400 minutes of match play without a goal. The result takes United to seven points and within touching distance of a place in the knockout round.
Shaw's absence has forced Van Gaal to use Marcos Rojo or Ashley Young on the left, both of whom have responded well and delivered commendable performances. Shaw was in the form of his life before the injury, and had been voted fans's Player of the Month in August. The England international will be desperate to regain full fitness before the end of the season and be in line for selection for the European Championships in France next year.
"Luke is progressing well and is doing as well as we could have hoped at this stage," Van Gaal wrote in his programme notes before the Moscow game, as quoted by Sky Sports. "We are not putting any timings on his recovery or a return, as it is important we allow nature to take its course."
Van Gaal said Shaw was working hard during his recuperation to keep his body in the best possible condition. "He is receiving plenty of messages of encouragement from supporters, which I know he appreciates," he added.
United are currently fourth in the league table, four points behind joint leaders Manchester City and Arsenal. Van Gaal will be hoping that the win over CSKA Moscow opens the floodgates for the Red Devils as far as scoring goals is concerned, having failed to do so in their last two league games.