Fletcher undergoes bowel surgery

Manchester United v Galatasaray - UEFA Champions LeagueManchester United today released a statement regarding Darren Fletcher and his need for bowel surgery.

Fletcher will be unavailable for the remainder of the season. Is this the end of his United career or the beginning of his road to recovery?

Read the full statement……

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.



  1. Sadly chronic bowel conditions rarely clear up completely. Missing another season makes it even less likely Fletcher will return to his best and I think we would be best served dipping into the transfer market this summer to buy another defensively minded midfielder as we definitely need the cover.

    • @colver: Not necessarily so. If they removed the diseased section of the bowel there’s every chance he will make a full recovery.
      (I do have some knowledge of this)

  2. I really feel for Fletcher – a great pro who through hard work, loyalty and humility has won many of us over after his unconvincing early days in the 1st XI. I wish him all the very best – his health is far more important than playing football. From a Utd/Fergie perspective, it’s very impressive (and fully deserved imo) that they have steadfastly continued to offer their full support to Darren and his treatment/recuperation program.

    From a purely footballing perspective it’s hard to know whether Fergie really believes he’s ever going to get the Darren Fletcher of 3 years or so ago back. Either way Fletcher will be 29 in 2 weeks and likely close to 30 when he’s recovered from the surgery, change in diet/regimen, match fit etc. It’s a big ask and I feel unfair pressure on the lad if the goal is to come back and be a regular starter in CM. His health is far more important, and as an autoimmune disease, relapses are sadly not uncommon.

    What does this mean for Utd? A big loss (minimally for the rest of the season) that regrettably could have been anticipated ever since the diagnosis was known. Can we rely on Carrick Cleverley/Anderson to stay fit/ in form? Even if they do, are they strong enough defensively against high pressing/fast countering European sides or even against more physical PL sides? There was some great stuff played at the weekend against Liverpool in the first half when there was no pressure applied, but it was a completely different story second half when Liverpool changed tactics. And that was only a mid table Premier League side.

    Meanwhile we’ve splashed 55+ Million on Jones, Kagawa & Young who have not (yet) significantly improved the side and aren’t even consistent starters. I have hopes for both Kagawa & Jones in the long term (assuming we can find a consistent position for each), but Young should be at his peak but patently has limited ability. Will Fletcher’s enforced absence be the catalyst for the acquisition of someone who would be an obvious improvement to our midfield – a Wanyama or Strootman for example? Or will we extend Scholes’ and Giggs’ contracts and make do?

    We’ve seen what a transformation an injection of world class talent has done to our attacking play & goal scoring, but why oh why don’t we apply the same logic to our midfield and defence where the real problems lie? The amount we’ve spent on squad players/future potential over the last few of seasons could have been used to address today’s critical issues by bringing in a couple of established players, and we might even be a force to be reckoned with again in Europe. I’m sure Fergie wants to go out with another Champions League trophy, so why is he not giving himself the best chance of achieving it rather than persisting with a suspect defensive unit (which was evident before this season but is getting gradually worse)?

    Don’t get me wrong I’m all for bringing through youth (and ideally home grown), but the age balance in the team is wrong,with very little in the 25-30 peak age bracket – especially defence and midfield – and this isn’t just something that creeps up on you unexpectedly. Until this is addressed, winning the Champions League seems a long way off to me.

    • @ForeverRed: So true. Fletcher has been a loyal servant of Mancheester United it is fitting that he is being looked after in this manner.

      Ferguson’s loyalty is admirable.

      Fletcher was a big part of our succes as a club in the years that he was fit.

      I hope that his surgery is successful. When he comes back he will be a reliable option for defensive midfield.

      I think in the interim we need to buy someone either way. Whether Fletcher returns or not. Victor Wanyama would be my knee jerk reaction.

      Or Maybe Ryan Tunnicliffe can start getting some first team chances when he returns from his loan spell.

      I don’t think Ferguson would sign Scholes and Giggs again as the stop gaps they are right now. I think Ferguson knows that there’s only so much he can get out of them. I think one midfield sign is imminent. I really believe so.

      Ferguson recognised that we need a boost in the strikers department when everyone wasn’t really questioning the department. And its proven an astute signing (RVP). Ferguson will know that next season he can’t get by on what we’ve currently got. Giggs and Scholes are fringe players at best. We have to fill that gap.

      So Fergie will probably fight hard to sign Frank Lampard if he can be convinced to be a turncoat. Or we will dip into the market for someone else.

      Kagawa and Jones will come good. But Ashley Young has a massive question mark over his head for me. I am not convinced of his quality or character. Although Young does have his usefull moments. He is useful at times but in my opinion he is a classic B-Grade player. I woul dkeep him as back up. Not as our first choice left winger.

      I hear what you’re saying with regards to the amount we’ve spent on players with potential instead of out of the box ready to fire from day one players. Its frustrating but don’t you just love it when a Cleverley pops up and fits into the first team as a first choice player after about four years of training and a loan spell?

      Its the United way. Jones will come good. He has so much potential. Smalling looks the most naturally talented CB after Rio and Vida. So hopefully he can start getting a lot more game time for the rest of the season.

      Next season will be better. Our defense will get better. We’re in transition. We’re trying to hand over to the next generation. We’ve come to the end of the iron fist defensive duo of Vida and Ferdinand where they shut shop we would just rack up clean sheets left right and centre with van Der Sar playing behind them.

      You can’t win anything with kids?

      Ferguson put that sentiment away a long time ago.

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