Shanghai (AFP) – England defender Luke Shaw Thursday described his “emotional” comeback after 10 months out with a career-threatening injury as the “best feeling ever”.
The Manchester United left-back returned from a double leg fracture to play 45 minutes during last weekend’s friendly at Wigan Athletic.
The 21-year-old is now looking forward to playing a full part in the club’s pre-season tour of China and getting his career back on track under new Old Trafford boss Jose Mourinho.
The tour kicks off with an International Champions Cup clash against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai tomorrow and concludes against bitter derby rivals City in Beijing on Monday.
Shaw sustained the horror injury against PSV Eindhoven in September 2015.
Speaking at a press conference in Shanghai on Thursday, Shaw described how incredible it felt to play again.
“It is the best feeling ever,” Shaw told reporters before training with the United squad at the 80,000-capacity Shanghai Stadium in 38 Celsius (100 Farenheit) temperatures and high humidity.
“When I had my first game on Saturday against Wigan, I felt so emotional.
“The way the crowd were with me, the cheers when I first had my first touch… you know that meant a lot to me. Obviously my family were there to see it and like I said it was the best feeling.”
Shaw admitted at first he had feared he might never play again.
“The first thoughts that went through my head were: ‘Am I going to play football again?’ and ‘How long am I going to be out for?’
“Obviously as I was going through (rehabilitation) I knew I was coming back. I’m just going to look forward now and obviously my leg feels great and you know I just want to push on in this pre-season and get fully fit.”
Meanwhile Mourinho defended his decision to let star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic go on holiday to the USA instead of travelling with the rest of the squad to China
The Swedish hitman exited Euro 2016 earlier than many of his teammates who were training in the searing Shanghai sunshine yesterday.
Mourinho said that all players had to be assessed differently as to how much of a summer break they needed.
“The best suits are the suits by measure,” said the Portuguese manager. “That’s better than going to a shop and buying a suit that might fit you or might not.
“The players are the same. No two are the same. My decision with Zlatan is down to hours of study of him, with my coaches,” added Mourinho.
“He was out (of Euro 2016) one match before the English guys. The body and mind is different. Players prepare in a different way.
“I am trying to change the profile (of the team). The striker is the easy one to finish the puzzle.”
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