Ferguson lifts lid on midfielder hopes

Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Darren Fletcher is set to return to training with a view to being fit for the start of pre-season.

The Manchester United boss has lifted the lid on the progress of the 27-year-old Scotland international captain, who has not played for the Red Devils since scoring in the Champions League clash with Benfica last November after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease.

Fletcher has since had a break from playing as he took over coaching responsibilities from Paul Scholes, who made a return from retirement in January.

The midfielder revealed last week that he hopes to be back in action in time for next season, while Ferguson shares similar hopes as he confirmed that he is about to embark on a fitness programme.

“Darren’s coaching with the Reserves and is going to start a programme quite soon in terms of getting his fitness up,” Ferguson told the club’s website. “But he’ll have a go at it and do his best.

“I think the big push will be in pre-season to try and get back to the level he was at.”