There were teams that suffered bigger losses, point-wise, but of all of the football clubs involved in this year's UEFA Champions League, Manchester United might have had the worst start. Playing in Group B alongside PSV Eindhoven, VfL Wolfsburg, and CSKA Moscow, Man United suffered a 1-2 loss to PSV in their first game of the 2015 2016 tournament. Worse, Manchester's promising young left-back had to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher with a double leg fracture. We take a look at the Luke Shaw injury, how bad is it, did the tackle deserve a sending off, and what are Luke's prospects for recovery?
Shaw's potentially season-ending injury came 15 minutes into Manchester's September 15th fixture against PSV. The match, played at Eindhoven's Philips Stadion in the Netherlands, was a big return to the Champions League for the Red Devils, who failed to qualify for the tournament last season. Fans in the Manchester United third jersey 2015 2016 were feeling confident in their club's tournament chances, thanks to a strong performance in the playoff rounds.
At the 15-minute mark, though, Manchester United fans got a nasty shock. Luke Shaw came charging up the pitch and actually made it into the penalty area, formulating an impressive dangerous attack. Then, PSV's Hector Moreno tried to make a tackle to stop his advance. Fans watched horrified as Shaw hit the ground, the ball soaring over the PSV goal and into the boards.
Shaw didn't get back up.
Instead, the 20-year-old defender stayed on the soccer pitch, clutching his leg with tears in his eyes. Medics had to give Shaw oxygen to calm him down before carrying him off the field on a stretcher.
Shaw was taken to an Eindhoven hospital, where doctors determined that he had broken his right leg in two places: the tibia and the fibula. He had surgery on Tuesday night to address the injuries, and a second surgery on Friday the 18th as a further step in his recovery. Unfortunately, the injury is rather serious, and it's unclear whether or not Shaw will play soccer again this season.
In the moments that followed Shaw's injury, before it was clear that he had been seriously hurt, TV commentators praised Hector Moreno for an effective tackle. UEFA later named Moreno the "Man of the Match" for his role in helping Eindhoven score a victory. He scored PSV's first goal, equalizing the score shortly after Memphis Depay had netted a shot to give Manchester the lead.
Apparently, a source close to the Red Devils has indicated that the football club is "furious" about UEFA's decision. Moreno picked up a yellow card in the second half, and many Man United fans maintain he should have been shown a yellow for the misjudged tackle that led to Shaw's injury. Moreno was ultimately not penalized by referees in the September 15th fixture and won't face any further action from the UEFA.
Shaw's Recovery Prospects
Provided that Shaw's surgeries went well, the young defender will hopefully have a quick recovery. Sources report that he suffered a "clean break," which is usually less serious and quicker to heal than a compound fracture.
Still, Shaw isn't dealing with a simple sprain here. He broke his leg in two places and will need to wait months before he can even walk again-let alone play professional football. The best estimate is that he will be out until March, though it's possible that he could miss the rest of the season. Manchester United manager thinks six months is probably a fair guess, but we won't have a truly accurate prediction for a few months.
The injury, obviously, is a huge blow to Shaw's career. The youngster transferred to Old Trafford last season, but only played 16 Premier League matches and 20 games overall. This fall, Shaw had played in all five of Manchester's league games and all three of their Champions League fixtures (including two playoff matches). In other words, Louis van Gaal will have to revamp his defensive lineup now that Luke is out of commission.
Pray for a speedy recovery for Luke Shaw by picking up a brand new Manchester United jersey 2015 2016 from Soccer Box!