The Manchester United player has undergone surgery on his long standing condition and will miss the rest of the season. Read the club statement here and plenty of well wishers from the general fanbase and footballing world
It seemed as if Darren Fletcher was finally putting his battles with illness behind him yet the news coming out of Old Trafford on Thursday suggested otherwise. The Scotland international is now reported to be ruled out for the rest of the season after having an operation on his condition; ulcerative colitis.
The bowel condition caused him to miss a large portion of last season and lose a massive amount of weight which affected the immediacy of his return to the game. Contrary to early reports the surgery was planned and Manchester United released a statement on the matter:
"Darren Fletcher will be unavailable for the remainder of this season having undergone surgery to resolve his ulcerative colitis condition.
"We wish to stress this was a planned procedure undertaken at the optimal time having achieved a period of sustained good general health, as illustrated by the fact that Darren has trained with the team regularly this season and been available for selection right up to the operation.
"Whilst it is frustrating for both Darren and the club that he won't be able to contribute further during this campaign, this decision has been taken with our full support in the best interests of his long-term health and we look forward to him returning next season with this problem firmly behind him.
"We would be grateful if his privacy could be respected at this time and in the coming months in order to aid his recuperation."
It is a real shame for the 28-year-old who has managed to make 13 appearances for club and country this season that it seems this condition is once again hindering his progress in the game but it is hoped this latest planned procedure will bring an end to his suffering which still presents a challenge for the long-term continuance of his football career.
There have been plenty of well-wishers on Twitter:
Feel sick for Darren Fletcher , hope surgery is successful. Good player the game will miss him. ⚽⚽— Peter Reid (@reid6peter) January 17, 2013
Really hope it's not the end for Darren Fletcher but if it is it will only be as a player: he has the tools to be a top coach— Jonathan Northcroft (@JNorthcroft) January 17, 2013
Good luck to Darren Fletcher with his recovery from bowel surgery.Lets hope he'll be back soon— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) January 17, 2013
Looks like Darren Fletcher's got it bad. From a fellow ulcerative colitis sufferer - good luck!— Oli Kristall™(@OliKristall) January 17, 2013
Darren Fletcher out all season, such a shame for a hard working genuine player. Missing his best years.— David Powers (@davidpowers83) January 17, 2013
Mind-blowing Darren Fletcher's commitment in getting through two qualifiers as recently as October. Possibly not wise but tried to do a turn— alan pattullo (@alan_pattullo) January 17, 2013
Darren Fletcher out for the rest of the season, safer packing it in that kid.— William Crozier (@Winky_AFC) January 17, 2013
Good luck to Darren Fletcher #mufc as he continues to fight his colitis condition. United: 'We look forward to him returning next season'— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) January 17, 2013
One Darren Fletcher, There's only one Darren Fletcher! #getwellsoon— Anton Eckerbom (@anteecker22) January 17, 2013