After a handful of games for the U21s this term, we receive the shock news that Darren Fletcher is back in the match day squad for the game tomorrow, as well as being back in the mix for selection ahead of a busy winter period. The news comes as a real boost as the Champions League group stages starting next midweek.
Obviously nobody expects him to start, but how nice would it be to see him get a run out on the Old Trafford pitch once again? He hasn’t featured in a first-team game since the 2-2 home draw against Benfica back in November last year, a game in which he scored in.
In his weekly pre-match press conference, Sir Alex said: “Darren’s training well and played in the reserves on Tuesday night. The next step is when we can involve him in a game in the first team. He’s in the squad tomorrow, simply because I think it will give him a boost. It’s a chance to progress. At this moment in time everything’s going fine for him.” He continued “We understand the condition he has to deal with [ulcerative collitis]. That can change but hopefully he’s managed to conquer it in terms of his diet and how he handles it. Things are going well at the moment.”
As Sir Alex said, It’ll be such a boost for all the players to see Darren back amongst it, but the severity of his illness means that it’ll probably be a little while before we see him completing 90 minutes at the heart of our midfield. We’ll just have to be patient and see how fit he is after so long out of the game.