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Illness forces Fletcher to take an 'extended break' from football
Manchester United confirm that the Scottish midfielder’s “mystery virus” is in fact a chronic inflammatory bowel condition.

MANCHESTER UNITED’S DARREN FLETCHER has been forced to take an “extended break” from football as he battles a bowel disease.

The Scottish midfielder has been in and out of United’s squad since a “mystery virus” caused him to missed two months towards the end of last season’s title-winning campaign.

In a statement released by the club this afternoon, United confirmed that Fletcher is in fact suffering from ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel condition which flared up again recently.

On medical advice, the 27-year-old has decided to take time out from the physical demands of training and playing in an attempt to achieve full remission of the disease.

“On behalf of Darren Fletcher, Manchester United wishes to announce that he is taking an extended break from football for health reasons,” the club statement read.

“Over the past year he has had several absence periods which we have attributed to a viral illness in order to respect his right to medical confidentiality. Darren has, in fact, been suffering from ulcerative colitis (a chronic inflammatory bowel condition) for some time preceding this.

Whilst he was able to maintain remission of symptoms for a considerable period this has proved more difficult recently and Darren’s continued desire to play and his loyalty to both his club and country has probably compromised the chances of optimising his own health and fitness.

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“He has therefore accepted medical advice to take an extended break from the demands of training and playing in order to afford the best chance possible of achieving full remission once again.

“We request that his privacy is respected and hope that the removal of the additional stress associated with speculation regarding his health will also aid his recovery.”

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