Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has insisted that he is not giving up hope of making a return to football with the Premier League club, but added that he would not target a comeback on any specific date.
The Scotland international has been sidelined since last November with ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, and says he is taking his recovery slowly to make sure he can be of use to both United and his national team in the future.
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"It's going OK," Fletcher told Sky Sports News. "I don't want to put any time constraint on it, I'm just taking my time with it and not giving up hope of coming back and playing, and hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later.
"It's complicated to talk about, it's really difficult. But I have to make sure I'm right when I come back, which will hopefully be beneficial for Manchester United and Scotland and make sure I'm ready when needed."
Fletcher's last game came against Benfica in the Champions League at Old Trafford, when he scored in a 2-2 draw.
The 28-year-old later announced that he would be taking an extended break from football following medical advice about his illness.