Hector Moreno has apologised to Luke Shaw for breaking his leg, but the PSV defender insists he should not have been penalised for the tackle that has sidelined the Manchester United defender for six months.
Shaw spent Tuesday night in an Eindhoven hospital after suffering a double fracture of his right leg in United’s 2-1 defeat at the Philips Stadion.
In the 15th minute of the Champions League group stage match, Moreno slid in from behind on Shaw with both feet, trapping the 20-year-old’s right foot, which bent at an angle, indicating the leg had been broken.
Incredibly, the Mexican was not punished for the challenge, which occurred in the home box.
Shaw left the field in tears, and it was clear the man who tackled him was affected by the incident too.
“I feel really sorry,” the PSV defender said. “I just feel really bad because I was involved in the accident.”
United manager Louis van Gaal condemned the tackle after the match, but his opposite number Phillip Cocu insisted his defender was not a dirty player.
When asked whether he thought he had committed a foul when he challenged Shaw, Moreno said: “I think not. I think I played the ball, but in this kind of situation I don’t care if it was a foul, I feel bad for him, and for his family.
“I don’t know how bad it is, but I had myself a situation like that during the World Cup and it’s bad.
“It’s difficult to say what happened. Now I just hope he will be back as soon as possible.”
Shaw is expected to fly back to Manchester either on Wednesday afternoon with the squad or the day after. He will then have an operation on the leg.
The United and England left-back tweeted on Tuesday night: “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.”
Van Gaal insists the former Southampton defender, who has been one of United’s best players so far this season, could play again this season.
“I am not a doctor so I cannot say that but when you have a double leg fracture it is six months,” the United manager said.
“He will not play in the group phase I think but I hope he can play again this season.”
If Shaw does come back in March, he would stand a chance of making England’s Euro 2016 squad, which is good news for Roy Hodgson.
The England manager was unable to call upon Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, Fraser Forster, Adam Lallana and Ben Foster for the recent matches against Switzerland and San Marino because of their respective long-term battles with injury.
Moreno, meanwhile, reflected on a momentous night for PSV.
Moreno nodded in a corner in first half injury time after Memphis Depay had put United ahead.
And then Luciano Narsingh made it 2-1 after the restart with a header on the counter.
“We knew it would be a difficult game,” Moreno said.
“We did not have the ball the most of the time. We knew they would have it so we had to play smart.
“A win like this helps us to gain confidence.”