Darren Fletcher close to first-team return for Manchester United

Darren Fletcher is closing in on a first-team return for Manchester United after completing 90 minutes for the reserves on Tuesday night.

The Scotland international hasn't played a competitive game for United since November after being diagnosed with a chronic bowel condition.

But Fletcher could soon be available to manager Sir Alex Ferguson after his third run-out for United's second-string this term.

The 28-year-old, who was named in United's squad for their Champions League campaign, starred alongside Alexander Buttner – the summer signing from Vitesse Arnhem – and Federico Macheda.

It was feared Fletcher might not play again but speaking earlier this month, Ferguson said: 'Darren's put a lot of weight back on. He's back to his normal weight from two or three years ago. It's a case of wait and see.'

Talking of Fletcher's inclusion in United's Champions League squad, the Scot added: 'Darren comes into the 25-man squad quite easily, without me having to leave others out because we have a number of players who we don't need to register because of the time they've spent with us as an academy player. That's an advantage.'