No Comeback Yet For Sick Fletcher

Darren Fletcher, who did not play for United at all in the second part of last season, doesn’t look likely to end his sabbatical any time soon. Down with a horrible bowel ailment that has become chronic, the Scotland midfielder is on the road to recovery but it is taking longer than anyone expected.

This confirms the worst fears of fans and Sir Alex alike, who were hoping to see him regain full fitness by the start of the 2012-13 season.

Sir Alex told reporters last week that he wasn’t sure of Fletcher’s condition, but he has come out with a statement today saying that Fletch hasn’t begun training and it wouldn’t be possible to put a date on his comeback as yet.

“He has not started training with us. He has obviously got great challenges ahead. We are happy to be patient but he won’t be starting the season. It is unfortunate because he is such a magnificent professional and such a nice lad. If it doesn’t work for him, he knows he has a position at the club anyway.” 

Fergie did say that the club will give Fletcher all the time he needs to get back to former self. The “there is a position at the club for him” part was an ominous addition that will chill the bones of every United fan out there. Fletch has been our hardest working and absolutely indispensable midfield player in the last few years, and it can be argued that not having him play regularly (along with captain Vidic’s injury) cost us dear in the last gasp title defeat to Manchester City.

With Fergie also suggesting that Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa may be the only midfield additions he makes this summer, Fletcher’s absence is going to hit us all the more hard. A box-to-box type who doesn’t shy from making fierce tackles in either half of the ground and always chases the ball down with boundless energy, Fletcher’s just the kind of player who will give our midfield the dynamism and punch that it so obviously lacked last season. It’s a galling bit of news to hear about his continued sickness, and his health is more important than his career at the moment. But I do hope that Fergie realises the need to replace him if chances of him coming back further diminish.

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