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Darren Fletcher to train with Scotland team before Australia friendly

The Manchester United midfielder played 45 minutes of a practice match last week.

Darren Fletcher celebrates a Champion League goal last season.
Darren Fletcher celebrates a Champion League goal last season.
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

MANCHESTER UNITED MIDFIELDER Darren Fletcher has been called up to train with the Scotland squad ahead of their pre-season friendly with Australia.

The 28-year-old, who captains his country, has not played domestically or internationally for nine months due to a chronic bowel problem.

Fletcher is not in consideration for a cap in the friendly game but will link up with his Scottish teammates and take a full part in training.

The news will come as a boost to United and Scotland fans, who were not expecting to hear such positive news about the Edinburgh native.

Less than four weeks ago, Fletcher’s club manager Alex Ferguson conceded that the Scot had not returned to full training and hinted that coaching future at Old Trafford may be the best he could hope for.

Scottish manager Craig Levein said, “Darren will be with us at the weekend, he is back in training and he played 45 minutes in a practice match last week.

“He is not in the squad because he has not played for Manchester United but he will do a bit of training with us.” Levein added:

I have been in touch with him every two or three weeks throughout the summer.

“We will see how he gets on between now and September and I think you’ll guess that if he is fit he will be in the team.”

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Return of the rock

Meanwhile, United captain Nemanja Vidic has expressed his satisfaction after returning to first team action.

The Serbian took part in United’s 0-0 draw with Valerenga as part of the club’s pre-season tour to Norway.

Vidic told the club’s website that his 60-minute outing ‘went well’. He said:

After eight months without a game it’s obvious that you have to get used to your positioning, and still fitness-wise it’s not as hopefully it will be in a few weeks, but I’m pleased. My knee felt well, I felt well and hopefully the next game will be better.

“Any sportsman has the risk of injuries and hopefully this is the past and better days are coming for me,” he added.

United confirmed on Monday that Ireland Under-19 international Sean McGinty would be going on loan with Oxford United until January.

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