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Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will miss the rest of the season after having a surgery to cure his long standing problem with a chronic inflammatory bowel condition.
The 28-year-old had to take a break from football last season too due to his chronic bowel suffering (Ulcerative colitis) and even though Manchester United expects him to return to action next season with all his problems behind him, the news puts his long term future at Old Trafford in jeopardy.
The Scotland skipper made 13 appearances this season for both club and country and his last appearance came on the Boxing Day as a late substitute in the 4-3 victory over Newcastle United.
A club statement said:
“Darren Fletcher will be unavailable for the remainder of this season having undergone surgery to resolve his ulcerative colitis condition.
“Whilst it is frustrating for both Darren and the club that he won’t be able to contribute further during this campaign, this decision has been taken with our full support in the best interests of his long-term health and we look forward to him returning next season with this problem firmly behind him.”
New manager of Scotland, Gordon Strachan, has praised Fletcher’s commitment while playing for his country and says the midfielder will be welcomed to join the squad any time during the recovery.
Meanwhile, Manchester United will fly to Qatar, for a winter training camp immediately after their Premier League weekend fixture against Tottenham.
United have no midweek fixture after the Spurs game and Sir Alex Ferguson hopes to utilize the time with an arranged trip for his squad to the Middle East on a four day break before the FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Fulham where the temperature is expected to be around 25 °C (77 °F).