Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw has thanked hospital staff in Holland as he prepares to return home to England.
The England international suffered a double leg break in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven and stayed on in the Dutch city for surgery.
He had been scheduled to undergo a second procedure at the St Anna Ziekenhuis hospital on Friday but will instead transfer to a hospital in Manchester for the completion of his treatment.
Shaw posted three pictures on Saturday morning of himself with hospital staff, accompanied by a note of thanks.
“I just wanna say a massive thank you to everyone at St Anna hospital for all the care and attention they have given me the last few days,” he wrote. “Something I will never forget!
“Am pleased to be flying back to Manchester today so I can start my journey back onto the football pitch!”
Manchester United boss Van Gaal has downplayed the importance of Shaw requiring a second procedure on the leg within the space of a few days.
He said: “It’s a closing of the stitches or something.
“The pressure was too high, that’s why an immediate operation was needed. Because opening the leg you need to close it also. It’s not an operation but it’s a typical minor operation.”
Shaw left the pitch at the Philips Stadion on a stretcher while receiving oxygen.
The former Southampton left-back was in tears at the time but is now in better spirits, according to his manager.
”I called him last night (Thursday),” Van Gaal said. ”He sounds very strong, which was amazing for me – a big surprise.
”It is a good signal but he knows he has a long way to go and it is not easy… He will have a long period of rehabilitation and he has a long way to go.”
Van Gaal believes the earliest date Shaw could return to action is March.
The Dutchman believes it will be a tough challenge for him to reach the kind of form that made him one of the best players in the team so far this season
”It is not only physical but mental,” Van Gaal said.
”For us it is a big loss, as a team. I said (in pre-season) this will be the season of LukeShaw but now it is finished nearly.
”He started so well, built up a left wing with (Memphis) Depay and Shaw, but we have to start filling it again and it is not easy.”
Shaw has received numerous tweets of support from team-mates and rivals alike since suffering the injury on Tuesday.