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Dublin: 0°C Friday 23 April 2021
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Staying positive: Fletcher aims to return next season

The Manchester United midfielder has been missing for four months with bowel disease but says a comeback is being targeted.

Fletcher in action for United.
Fletcher in action for United.
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

MANCHESTER UNITED MIDFIELDER Darren Fletcher has set himself the target of next season to make a comeback for Manchester United.

The Scotland captain has been sidelined since November with a bowel condition known as ulcerative colitis and has been coaching the Red Devils’ reserve team since Paul Scholes came out of retirement and left the post.

It was feared that the 27-year-old, who joined United at 11 and has made 300 appearances for the Premier League champions, may be forced to quit football altogether when he announced he was taking an extended break but Fletcher is confident of returning for the 2012/13 campaign.

“I’m feeling okay,” Fletcher said on BBC Sport. “I’m still not ready to come back playing or training yet but I’m listening to the medical people and trying to get myself right.

The challenge and the focus is to be ready for next season.”

Fletcher says he has received a huge amount of support from the club and the fans during what has been an extremely difficult period and is remaining upbeat about the future.

“It’s an unpredictable illness and you don’t know what lies ahead of you. But I’ve got to keep staying strong and keep believing. That’s an important side of it: positive thinking.

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“I’m hopeful and really positive that I’ll be back and back to my best.”

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Ben Blake

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