• Premier League

Fletcher targets United first-team return

ESPN staff
July 21, 2013
Fletcher missed the second half of last season as a result of the problem © Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is hopeful he will return to action soon after the start of the season as he recovers from a bowel operation.

Fletcher, 29, has struggled with ulcerative colitis for some time and underwent surgery in January.

Asked when he would be back in action, Fletcher told BBC Radio Five: "Hopefully, not too long after the start of the season. I think I will just miss the beginning of the season."

Fletcher revealed the problem had existed longer than had been reported.

"I've had it for five years but really struggled to control it for the last three years," he said. "It's had a big impact on my day-to-day life, never mind trying to play football.

"Medication wasn't helping me but surgery was the only solution if I wanted to have not only a future playing football but even a quality of life going forward."

He added: "It's all going well. I am still under the hands of the medical team just now, and the surgeon who is looking after me. Everything is going to plan so far and I am not that far away now.

"I am doing exercise on my own. I've not been given the green light to join in contact in football training but I am doing my own running and physical activities and feel great.

"Hopefully, in the next few weeks I am going to get the green light to join in and to start making the comeback, which is looking very good."

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