Darren Fletcher makes surprise return for Manchester United


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The Independent Football

Darren Fletcher returned to action with Manchester United last night, making his first appearance since November last year.

The Scotland captain was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel condition, an illness that meant no time frame could be put on his return.

There were even fears that the 28-year-old would never player again.

Yet Fletcher was sent on for the final 30 minutes of United's 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen in a benefit match for Dons legend Neil Simpson. It was his first appearance since a goal-scoring Champions League performance against Benfica on November 22.

Speaking ahead of Fletcher's return, Ferguson told MUTV: "It's been quiet progress for the boy.

"He joined in training a couple of weeks ago and it's one of those situations where you say: 'Let's see how he does because he has had a really difficult time in the last year'.

"Therefore, I wasn't really placing too much hope in it but let's see how he does.

"He's got to the stage now where he feels he needs a game. I let him join Scotland this week but he wanted a game so I said: 'Come to Aberdeen and join up afterwards'.

"I'll give him 20 to 25 minutes."

After coming on Aberdeen doubled their lead, before Anderson pulled one back for United.