The 20-year-old had emergency surgery in Eindhoven after his double leg fracture on Tuesday but was unable to have another operation on Friday which van Gaal insisted was minor.
Shaw was able to fly back to England thanks to the pressure decreasing in his leg and will go home on Tuesday if everything is OK.
“It was to close the stitches or something like that,” van Gaal told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
“The pressure was high and that is why the immediate operation was needed and because [of the] opening of the leg, you need to close it also. It was a typical minor operation. It could not be done today, so we have to do it here in Manchester. Now that the pressure is low, he can fly back.
“That is the latest information I know. He is going to a private clinic in Manchester and, if it is alright, then he will go home on Tuesday. It depends on how the injury develops.”
Van Gaal went on to discuss Shaw’s potential return date as well and made it clear how uncertain the situation was but hoped it could be in six months if everything goes well.
He added: “I have said already at the PSV press conference that I am not a doctor.
“But the doctor also cannot say anything about that other than, for these kind of injuries, it is at least six months. After that, he may be able to play but it also depends on how his rehabilitation develops.
“I am not a doctor, so I cannot say it, and the doctor cannot say it either because there can be circumstances in which he has a setback. However, if everything is good, then maybe six months.”
Van Gaal also said he was amazed with Shaw’s strength after such adversity.
“I called him last night (Thursday),” van Gaal said.
“He sounds very strong, which was amazing for me – a big surprise.
“It is a good signal but he knows he has a long way to go and it is not easy… He will have a long period of rehabilitation and he has a long way to go.”
Everything sounds like it has gone OK (given the circumstances) since Shaw’s injury on Tuesday. The emergency surgery went well and hopefully further surgeries in Manchester go ahead without a problem also.
The road to recovery is a long and arduous one for players attempting to overcome injuries like this but with family, the club, players, fans and everyone else in between supporting him, Shaw is in the best possible place to do so.