Louis van Gaal has revealed Luke Shaw is in ‘good spirits’ and could return to England on Saturday to continue his recovery from a broken leg.
Shaw broke his right leg in two places during Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat to PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old had an operation on the night of the game and has stayed in Holland since to continue his recovery.
But Van Gaal said he could return to Manchester on Saturday.
The Manchester United manager said: “His family is there, we have sent people with him and he will come back when he is prepared. Maybe tomorrow.”
“I spoke to him last night. He sounds very strong and is in good spirits, which is amazing for me. It’s a very good signal.”
“He faces a long period of rehabilitaiton. There’s still a long way to go. I am always saying that it is not physical but also mental.”
United begin life without Shaw against Southampton on Sunday and Van Gaal admits he is still considering who will come in at left-back.
“For us it is a big loss, as a team. I said (in pre-season) this will be the season of Luke Shaw 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.
“We have to cope with it but it is a big loss.
“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.”
Who should Manchester United now play at left-back?
One piece of good news for the United boss, however, is the return to fitness of Wayne Rooney, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain.
When asked if Rooney was ready to return, Van Gaal said: “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.”
Van Gaal declined to speak at length about his relationship with the manager who will be in the home dugout on Sunday.
Van Gaal fell out with Ronald Koeman when they were both at Ajax in 2004.
Koeman, who was manager at the time, felt Van Gaal was too intrusive while technical director at the club.
Their relationship broke down and Van Gaal resigned a year after taking the post. The pair shook hands when their teams played each other last year, but it is clear that an uneasy relationship exists between the two Dutch managers.
The Saints boss said on Friday he was happy to invite Van Gaal into his office for a glass of wine after the match even though he claimed the United manager snubbed the same offer last season.
When asked about Koeman’s offer, Van Gaal said: “Thank you for the invitation.”
Van Gaal, however, did say of Southampton: “They have a very good team. I don’t think their current position is a normal position for them.”