Darren Fletcher’s remarkable comeback from ulcerative colitis has been capped as the Manchester United midfielder has been recalled to the Scotland squad for the first time since 2012.
The 30-year-old had feared that the debilitating bowel condition, which he said kept him housebound, could end his career.
Instead, after corrective surgery, Fletcher has made nine appearances since returning to the United team as a substitute at Aston Villa in December, and is back in Gordon Strachan’s squad to face Poland in Warsaw next month.
Fletcher -- who has won 61 caps and captains the national side -- last played for Scotland in a 2-1 win over Luxembourg in November 2012, but missed much of the period between March 2011 and December 2013 due to the career-threatening condition.
Strachan expressed his delight in being able to call up the midfielder once again as he looks to make his side competitive for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Gordon Strachan media conference "We're delighted to have a player of Darren Fletcher's quality back in our squad." pic.twitter.com/xPN6ZMQBnZ— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) February 19, 2014
Great news for Darren Fletcher. The midfielder has been named in the Scotland squad to face Poland on 5 March. Congratulations!— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 19, 2014
The Scotland manager also said of the Red Devils midfielder in December: “He’s a top player. He moves people round about him. As he plays he organises and not every player can do that.”
Strachan also recalled the former United full-back Phil Bardsley and chose the uncapped Dundee United defender Andrew Robertson in a 24-man party.
Full Scotland squad to face Poland on March 5, 2014
Matt Gilks, David Marshall, Allan McGregor; Phil Bardsley, Christophe Berra, Gordon Greer, Grant Hanley, Alan Hutton, Russell Martin, Andrew Robertson; Steven Whittaker; Charlie Adam, Ikechi Anya, Barry Bannan, Scott Brown, Chris Burke, Darren Fletcher; James Forrest, James Morrison, Charlie Mulgrew, Robert Snodgrass; Steven Fletcher, Ross McCormack, Steven Naismith.