Louis van Gaal says Luke Shaw sounds “very strong”, while Wayne Rooney “can start” for Manchester United against Southampton this weekend.
Left back Shaw faces at least six months on the sidelines after suffering a double leg fracture in the Champions League defeat to PSV on Tuesday.
Manchester United boss Van Gaal had positive news to deliver concerning the 20-year-old’s fitness, having phoned the England international last night.
“I called him last evening,” he said. “He sounds very strong. That’s amazing for me, a big surprise, a good signal, but he knows it’s also a long way he has to go.
“It’s not easy, but his family are there. We will send people to him and when he can come back we have everything prepared.
“Maybe he shall come back tomorrow and then have a long period of rehab, so he still has a long way to go.”
Shaw had started the season in stellar form, and Van Gaal is now left with a dilemma over who and how to replace him going forward this season.
“For us it is a big loss, because I said in advance it shall be the season of Luke Shaw, and now it is nearly finished already.
“We built up a left wing with Memphis Depay and Luke, and now we must build it up again because we have to address that situation.
“It is not a problem but Shaw is the line-up player and it is very difficult to replace him when he is in such a good shape.
“In (Daley) Blind, (Marcos) Rojo and (Ashley) Young, we have good replacements.”
The Dutchman did have news on a return from injury for captain Wayne Rooney however, who is now in line to replace Anthony Martial in the starting line-up against Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.
“Shaw’s injury is a big loss but Rooney is fit to play [v Southampton] and Jones has trained with the group,” Louis van Gaal
“Yes. It was a minor injury you don’t want to take any risks. Now he has had his treatment. I think he can start.”