Luke shaw
Luke Shaw’s hopes of returning before the end of the season have been dashed as recovery process is delayedGetty

Manchester United have suffered a defensive setback ahead of their FA Cup final after it was revealed that Luke Shaw will not make an appearance this season despite Louis van Gaal giving the player the hope of featuring at Wembley on 21 May when they take on Crystal Palace. The left-back has been sidelined since September with a double fracture and has recently returned to training with the hope of featuring before the end of the campaign.

According to Manchester Evening News, the English defender underwent a minor surgery three weeks back to remove screws that were inserted in his leg during the surgery, which is likely to put any hope of featuring this season to rest. Shaw will continue to train with the U21's but will not be brought back into the first-team fold before pre-season begins in the summer.

The 20-times English champions have sorely missed him during the course of the campaign, which sees them hanging on by a thread to finish in the top four and they will only achieve it if Manchester City lose their final game of the season against Swansea City on Sunday (15 May), while the Red Devils have to beat Bournemouth at Old Trafford. A number of players have deputised for Shaw but failed to make the impact the former Southampton player had at the start of the season, when he was clearly United's top performing star.

Van Gaal was harbouring hopes of the left-back returning for the summit clash against the Eagles and had recently suggested that Shaw was progressing well. However, the manager was expecting him to return with the U21's but with the reserves having played their last game against FC Bury on 10 May, it leaves him no practice games to build match fitness ahead of the big final at Wembley.

"He can, maybe, but it shall be difficult because he has to play first a lot of matches in the second team. We have to wait and see because you cannot say anything. It's going very well with him," the Dutch coach said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.