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United’s Darren Fletcher may make earlier recovery from bowel condition

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.”