DARREN Fletcher could return to action for Manchester United before the end of the season after Scotland manager Craig Levein revealed that the midfielder’s recovery from a chronic bowel condition will be reviewed after ‘four months’ complete rest.’
United announced last month that the 27-year-old Scotland captain would take a full break from football in an effort to overcome the debilitating effects of ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel condition.
At the time, it appeared as though Fletcher would sidelined for the rest of the 2011-12 season, with genuine fears that the midfielder faced a battle to save his top-level career.
While Fletcher could still miss the remainder of this campaign, however, Levein, who is determined to have the Edinburgh-born player back for Scotland’s 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, admitted that the his situation will become clearer in the spring
Levein said: “He (Fletcher) is out for four months’ complete rest and then we can reassess things.
“I’d be desperately hoping to have him for the qualifiers.”
Levein also revealed that Fletcher has endured a long-term battle with colitis, stretching back to his early twenties.
He said: “He has had this for nearly four years now, he’s been pushing himself, and he’s really suffering it this time.
“He desperately wants to play. He’s just a fantastic example of fortitude and desire.”