Shaw has been sidelined since September of last year having suffered a double fracture of his right leg in a Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven.
The 20-year-old finally returned to individual training recently and van Gaal offered an update on his progress.
“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.”
Along with Shaw, Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones and Ashley Young are all coming back from injury and van Gaal will be happy to see his squad approaching full-strength ahead of the crucial run-in.
But it is Shaw who will likely garner the loudest cheer when he does step back out onto the Old Trafford pitch. The youngster had been in superb form prior to his injury and his attitude at the club has always been excellent.