Louis van Gaal is holding out hope that Luke Shaw could play for Manchester United again this season despite suffering a double leg fracture.
Shaw suffered the horrific injury in United’s 2-1 Champions League defeat at PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night.
With the score at 0-0, the Manchester United left-back was taken out with a sliding tackle by Hector Moreno in the 15th minute of the group stage match.
Replays showed Moreno had swept both of Shaw’s feet from underneath him and his right foot lay at an angle, which instantly indicated a severe break.
He stayed down for eight minutes of treatment before being carried off on a stretcher while receiving oxygen.
Early estimates suggest the player will spend around a year on the sidelines and will miss the European Championships for England after seemingly making the left-back slot his own in Roy Hodgson’s side.
A visibly shocked United manager Van Gaal said in his press conference after the game: “He is in hospital. He will be transferred later and will be operated on in Manchester.
“It is awful.
“The boy comes to Manchester at 18 and it is difficult for him. Then in his second season, he is fantastic… and then that happens like this.
“I’ve not been able to speak to him yet. He was taking oxygen and was crying.”
The player will undergo surgery later this week.
Van Gaal was clearly unhappy with the challenge, but refused to condemn the Mexican defender, who played for him at AZ.
“If I say it is a penalty and a red card I am a bad loser, every word is interpreted in the wrong way,” he said.
“But it was a very bad tackle with two legs.”
PSV coach Phillip Cocu defended Moreno.
“The intention was not to injure the opponent,” he said.
Despite fears the player faces around a year out, Van Gaal hopes the road to recovery is not a long one.
“I am not a doctor so I cannot say that, but when you have a double fracture it is I think until six months,” he added.
“It is about how it develops. You can never say that in advance.
“He will not play in the group phase I think. I hope he can play again this season.”
England manager Hodgson already has major injury concerns. Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge, Fraser Forster and Ben Foster all missed the last international double-header with long-term injuries.
Marcos Rojo, who replaced Shaw at the Philips Stadion, is likely to be a long-term replacement for Shaw at United this season.
Shaw’s team-mate Adnan Januzaj, currently on loan at Borussia Dortmund, wrote on Twitter: “Horrible to see what happened … I wish u all the best my brother and stay strong you will comeback even stronger … @LukeShaw23”
Shaw himself took to Twitter, as many well-wishers sent him notes of support.
He wrote: “Thank you everyone for your messages , words can’t describe how gutted I am , my road to recovery starts now, I will come back stronger.”
Thank you everyone for your messages , words can’t describe how gutted I am , my road to recovery starts now, I will come back stronger.
— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw23) September 15, 2015
His former club Southampton told Shaw to “come back stronger”, to which he replied: “thank you , you don’t know how much you as a club mean to me , thank you so much I really appreciate it”