Darren Fletcher returns to Scotland squad
Friday 26 August 2011
Scotland captain Darren Fletcher has returned to the squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Lithuania.
Fletcher has not featured for his country in 2011 after being struck down by a virus in the spring and Scotland manager Craig Levein admitted earlier this month he would need to make "exceptional" progress to make the Hampden double-header.
But the Manchester United midfielder was today named in the squad for the games against the Czechs on September 3 and Lithuania three days later.
Fletcher was sidelined by the virus, which caused sudden weight loss, for two months between early March and early May.
Despite playing 90 minutes against Blackpool in United's final Barclays Premier League match of last season and making the substitutes' bench for the Champions League final, Fletcher suffered a relapse in the summer and missed his club's pre-season tour of the United States.
But the 27-year-old played two full reserve games against Arsenal and Swansea this week and Sir Alex Ferguson this morning confirmed the midfielder would be in his squad to face Arsenal on Sunday.
Celtic winger Kris Commons, who was ruled out of the friendly win over Denmark earlier this month with a foot injury but has since returned to club action, is not included in the 25-man squad.
Levein says Fletcher is 100% fit and ready to be involved in both matches.
On his captain's return, he said: "I'm thrilled. He's arguably our best player and a perfect role model and example to the rest of the guys in the squad.
"I will also give a special mention to Kenny Miller for his role as captain when Darren hasn't been there, he has been fantastic.
"Darren is 100%. I spoke to him on Monday night. He played 90 minutes of a reserve game the previous week and he played 90 minutes last night.
"I had someone at the game and he is looking great and he is telling me this is the best he has felt for almost a year.
"I'm delighted to have him back and the way I'm looking at it is that he will be fit to play in both matches."
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