‘I feel great’: Darren Fletcher hopeful of Manchester United comeback from debilitating bowel condition

By John McDougall

Despite suffering from a debilitating bowel condition that has interrupted his football career, midfielder Darren Fletcher believes he will once again don a Manchester United shirt soon.

The 29-year-old Scottish international last played for United last Boxing Day and underwent surgery in January to help cure his ulcerative colitis.

And having initially taken an extended break from football in December 2011, Fletcher is determined to make his Red Devils comeback early this season.

“I think I will just miss the beginning of the season,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “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’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.”

TheScotlandcaptain is an Old Trafford trainee and has made 312 appearances in 11 seasons for the current Premier League champions scoring 25 goals.

Fletcher has lived with the condition for five years and felt surgery was the only option, not only for his career but also his everyday life.

“I’ve had it for five years but really struggled to control it for the last three years,” he explained.

“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.”

Other sportsmen who have suffered from the illness include five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave and ex-England rugby union captain Lewis Moody. 

Picture courtesy of Gordon Flood via Wiki Commons, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles