Darren Fletcher set for United return
Darren Fletcher edges closer to first team return
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is targeting a return to the first-team squad after playing for the club’s reserve team.
• Macintosh: Managing United
The 29-year-old made his first appearance of the season for the Old Trafford outfit when he played in the 2-2 draw between United’s Under-21 side and the Fulham Under-21s.
The Scotland international has been out of action since Boxing Day 2012, a 4-3 win over Newcastle, undergoing planned surgery to resolve the chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis.
But after playing for around 60 minutes for the reserves, Fletcher said he hopes to quickly return to David Moyes’ team and help the club climb the table.
"It's been a long time, so it's good to get back,” Fletcher told MUTV. “I've been training for a few weeks now and the next progression is to get some match-time. I enjoyed it.
"The plan was to get to half-time and see how I felt, then get to 60 minutes and take it from there. Although I felt I could have gone on a bit longer, the plan was not to play more than that so I'm better sticking to the plan and not upsetting the sports science lads.
"I just want to be out there to help and do my best. The aim is to be back in the manager's plans and help on the pitch.
"Although we've not started as well as we'd have liked, it was a very tough start, and I still expect us to kick on in the next few weeks.
"[A return is a] question for David Moyes. I'm going to hopefully have a few more Under-21 games and finish 90 minutes before trying to work my way into the squad. If I get a chance, I've got to be ready to take it."
Despite describing his time on the sidelines as ‘tough’, Fletcher said he remained positive thanks to the club and his close family.
"They've been great, especially the doc Steve McNally,” Fletcher said. “He's worked closely with me, getting myself right and back and the support from the club has been fantastic - from Sir Alex Ferguson to the new manager and David Gill. Everyone at the club. I couldn't ask for anything better.
"It's been tough. Luckily, I've got a great family around me. They keep me going, keep me motivated and lift me when I'm down. All these factors contributed to me standing here today on the road to recovery."