Luke Shaw injury: Manchester United confirm England defender to miss 'months' with muscle issue

Luke Shaw injury: Manchester United confirm England defender to miss 'months' with muscle issue

Manchester United have confirmed that Luke Shaw is facing “a few months” on the sidelines through injury.

Reports on Wednesday afternoon claimed that the Red Devils feared their first-choice left-back could miss the rest of the season after suffering the recurrence of a leg problem in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Luton, setting alarm bells ringing for England boss Gareth Southgate ahead of the European Championship finals in Germany this summer.

Shaw was taken off at half-time of the late win at Aston Villa seven days earlier as a precautionary measure, but was deemed fit to start at Kenilworth Road before being substituted again just before the interval.

United boss Erik ten Hag admitted after the win over Luton that the issue did not look great and was not just a knock, but insisted that he was unsure as to the severity or length of any potential absence until further assessments were made this week.

Luke Shaw was forced off before half-time in Manchester United’s win over Luton (REUTERS)
Luke Shaw was forced off before half-time in Manchester United’s win over Luton (REUTERS)

Hours after the reports first surfaced over concerns at Old Trafford that Shaw could be sidelined for the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign, United have now released an update via their official website in which they confirmed that the 28-year-old has suffered a muscle injury and will be out of action for months.

“Luke Shaw has sustained a muscle injury and will be out for an extended period,” United said in their brief statement.

“Further assessment is still needed to determine the severity but we expect him to be absent for a few months.”

It has been an injury-plagued season so far for Shaw, who has managed just 15 appearances across all competitions.

He missed more than three months of action between August and November with a muscle injury, returning ahead of schedule in the 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park.

Shaw was then sidelined again for a month between late December and January with an unspecified problem, making his latest comeback in the FA Cup tie against fourth-tier Newport.

He managed only four more appearances before suffering another setback and it remains to be seen when he will now be in a position to play again, with England and Southgate no doubt keeping a very close eye on the situation as Euro 2024 draws near.

Ten Hag is already without influential defender Lisandro Martinez due to a knee injury suffered at the start of February that was expected to keep him out for two months, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is not expected to return for a few more weeks yet having picked up another injury in training.

Tyrell Malacia has been stepping up his return from long-term injury, but has still yet to play a single match so far this season.

The injuries to Malacia and Wan-Bissaka limit Ten Hag’s options at left-back, with the Dutchman having opted to play centre-back Victor Lindelof in an unfamiliar position to cover Shaw of late with the lack of Wan-Bissaka making it more difficult to just move over versatile right-back Diogo Dalot, who has filled in plenty on the left in the past.

Mason Mount and Anthony Martial are also currently sidelined for resurgent United, who have now won four Premier League games in a row in a brilliant start to 2024 to move sixth and five points adrift of the top four.