England and Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has, for the first time, opened up on the horrific leg break he suffered during a UEFA Champions League clash in September 2015, admitting he was on the verge of giving up playing professional football.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about stopping playing,” Shaw told a press conference on Tuesday.
“I had a lot of complications with my leg and that was the really hard moment for me in my career. No-one knows but I was really close to actually losing my leg. I never knew that until six months later when the doctor told me.”
“At the time, they were thinking about flying me back and if I’d have flown back, I would probably have lost my leg because of the blood clots and stuff,” the 23-year-old revealed.
The in-form fullback gave provided some more graphic details about the extent of his injury, which almost derailed his career at United.
“I’ve got – I don’t want to talk about it too much – two scars down the side of my leg where they had to cut it open and pull them out because of how severe it was. But I don’t really care about that any more. I feel really strong and my right leg is exactly as it was before my leg break.”
Weight issues have dogged the Southampton Academy product for the past few years, but Shaw insisted he’s always looked after himself and he’s never been one to gulp fizzy drinks down by the gallon.
“I’ve had an unfortunate two or three years. That’s in the past and I’m just looking forward.
“On the nutrition side, I wouldn’t say I made massive changes. I’ve cut out some of the silly things I was doing. I wanted to prove everybody wrong and get back to my best. I’m feeling the best ever, not just on the pitch but off it. I’ve gone from sort of a kid to a man now.”
Last year, United manager Jose Mourinho called out the left-back for his inability to stay fit and most outlets had claimed that the defender would be on his way out of Old Trafford this summer.
Contrary to public perception Shaw stuck around and has emerged as one of the shining lights of United’s season so far. He went on to declare that he’s always had the manager’s backing and they enjoy a good relationship.
“Jose put his trust in to me at the start of this season and obviously at times, people thought he didn’t trust me. It would have been easy for him to say ‘I want to sell him, I don’t want him here any more’, but he’s always believed in me.”
While United on the whole have flattered to deceive with a lukewarm start to the 2018/19 Premier League season, Shaw’s been flying out of the blocks.
“Mentally, it made me come out the other side and made me stronger, to want to prove to him that I can do what sometimes, in the last couple of seasons, he’d said I couldn’t.
His exploits for club have earned him a recall to the England setup and the left-back is set to get some minutes in the Three Lions’ fixtures against Spain (September 8) and Switzerland (September 11).
“At times, he got frustrated with me because he knew I could do better. Maybe, when I look back, at times he was right,” the 23-year-old admitted.