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Published: 11:31 | 9/4/16

Shaw "very close" to fitness

England defender suffered double leg break in September

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says defender Luke Shaw is "very close" to a return to full training.

The England international suffered a double leg fracture during the Champions League group stage 2-1 defeat at PSV Eindhoven in September, but finally returned to outdoor training on Monday.

However, the Dutchman warned that Shaw, who was accompanied by a physiotherapist on Monday, is only the taking the "first step" to a return to full-contact training.

"He is not in the team, he is training on the pitch and on the grass," van Gaal said.

"He has to adapt his muscles and legs to the pitch, and that is the difference. It is fantastic that he is coming back but he is training individually with a physio, to adapt to the ground of the pitch.

"That is the first step. Everybody is very happy for him because it is a very long rehabilitation. It is now more than seven months I believe. We are very happy for him and he is very close now."

United captain Wayne Rooney has not featured since the 2-1 defeat at Sunderland on 13 February but will play for the Under-21s against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on Monday.

"It is very important that our captain is coming back," van Gaal said.

"He only trained with us for two sessions and then you are not fit to play.

"That is the big difference. Everyone is thinking Wayne is fit again but it is not like that. He has to build up his capacity to play a match at the level of a Premier League match."

Van Gaal also confirmed that Phil Jones, Ashley Young and Adnan Januzaj are unavailable for Sunday's Premier League trip to North London to take on Tottenham.

"Adnan was injured and he is still injured but he shall also come back, it is not such a heavy injury," he said.

"He is not fit to play in the reserves or in the first team.

"[Jones and Young] are more or less fit players because you cannot be fit after one game at a lower level."

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