Luke Shaw will be spared the torment of completing his 500-mile return to Manchester from Eindhoven by land.
After three days’ treatment at the St Anna Ziekenhuis hospital on the outskirts of Eindhoven, Shaw is almost ready to return to England.
The Manchester United defender has been in the Dutch city since he broke his leg in two places following a tackle by Hector Moreno in PSV’s 2-1 Champions League win over the Red Devils on Tuesday.
Shaw had an operation on the leg on the night of the game and was due to have another procedure at the hospital on Friday.
Instead, that second procedure has been moved to Manchester. Doctors are happy with the initial operation, which set his leg together after a clean break of the tibia and fibula.
There were fears Shaw would have to make his return journey via road or train - which could have taken over eight hours - because the pressure on the leg would be too high in a plane.
But United manager Louis Van Gaal says Shaw will be okay to fly back to England and could even land today.
“The second procedure could not be done today (Friday) so we have to do it here in Manchester. The pressure is low now so he can fly back,” the Dutchman said.
“That is the last information I got. It will be today (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday) then he will go to a private clinic in Manchester.
“When it’s all right, depending on the development of the injury, then he goes home, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Van Gaal 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 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.’’
As well as Van Gaal, England manager Roy Hodgson is understood to have been in regular contract with Shaw during his stay at the hospital.
Wayne Rooney broke Bobby Charlton’s England record under Hodgson over the most recent international break.
He is 16 goals short of Charlton’s United record and Van Gaal has no doubt the striker will become the club’s top scorer of all time.
Van Gaal was irked when it was put to him that Rooney had failed to score in his last 10 league matches.
“He scored against (Club) Brugge,” Van Gaal said after confirming his captain had overcome a hamstring injury to be fit for tomorrow’s game at Southampton.
“Rooney has scored a lot. He’s nearly the record holder, so I hope he will beat that record but I have to wait and see, like you do.”
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