Manchester United Midfielder Darren Fletcher Is Taking A Break From Football Due To Serious Illness!

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is facing a fight to save his career at the age of 27.

United announced that the Scotland captain had been forced to take an indefinite break from playing after succumbing to a debilitating bowel condition. Fletcher missed a large chunk of last season with a so-called 'virus' and then sat out much of pre-season when the problem resurfaced.

However, the Barclays Premier League champions have revealed that Fletcher has actually been suffering from a problem known as 'ulcerative colitis'.

It is considered unlikely that Fletcher will be back before next season, and there is now a large question mark over his career. 
Whether the midfielder can return will depend on the severity of the condition. Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics, despite being diagnosed in 1992, while England rugby star Lewis Moody also suffers from it.

A United statement said: 'On behalf of Darren Fletcher, Manchester United wishes to announce that he is taking an extended break from football for health reasons. 'Over the past year he has had several absence periods which we have attributed to a viral illness in order to respect his right to medical confidentiality.

'Darren has, in fact, been suffering from ulcerative colitis (a chronic inflammatory bowel condition) for some time preceding this. While he was able to maintain remission of symptoms for a considerable period, this has proved more difficult recently and Darren's continued desire to play, and his loyalty to both club and country, has probably compromised the chances of optimising his own health and fitness.

'He has therefore accepted medical advice to take an extended break from the demands of training and playing in order to afford the best chance possible of achieving full remission once again.'

The news was greeted with dismay by United followers and the football community as a whole. Not only is Fletcher considered an integral part of Sir Alex Ferguson's first-choice team, he is also one of the club's most popular players.

Fletcher's domestic season didn't begin until the September 18 victory against Chelsea and although he enjoyed a run after that he has not made an appearance since the November 22 Old Trafford draw with Benfica.

Last week he remained an unused substitute in Basle as United crashed out of the Champions League, and it is understood he has not been at the training ground since.

Team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen expressed their support on Twitter, as did former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

What remains to be seen now is whether Ferguson goes back on his vow not to sign new players in January. Having lost captain Nemanja Vidic to a season-ending knee injury last week and already without a host of other injured players, Ferguson will be under pressure to prove that United do have cash for new recruits.

Fletcher's condition can be managed in some cases by drugs, diet and lifestyle changes. In other instances, though, it can't. Some of the drugs available to him may also figure on the banned substances list.

Source: Daily Mail UK