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Fletcher is cleared for pre-season

Darren Fletcher, the Scotland captain, is expected to recover his fitness in time to begin pre-season training with club side Manchester United.

The midfielder fractured a toe during the final Barclays Premier League match of the campaign, an injury which then forced him out of a friendly against Nigeria late last month.

The injury was at first considered serious enough that the Scot might have required an operation, with his rehabilitation programme likely to have forced Fletcher to miss the first day of pre-season under new United manager Louis Van Gaal. The Dutchman will take his new squad on a tour in North America ahead of the new season.

Fletcher has been told that he can now root around for his passport ahead of that trip, since his toe has healed naturally. A statement which was released by United yesterday confirmed that the Scot is fit and healthy enough to report to Van Gaal on time.

The statement read: "The Scotland internationalist suffered the injury during the draw at St Mary's, despite completing the full 90 minutes, but it has since healed and the 30-year-old is able to continue to keep fit over the summer.

"Contrary to some reports, Fletcher will be ready for full training ahead of Tour 2014 and will be out to impress new manager Louis van Gaal when he takes over the role after the World Cup [where he coaching the Netherlands]."

There has been no shortage of goodwill towards Fletcher given that he has battled back from the debilitation bowel condition, ulcerative colitis, to play some part for United last term. The Scot has already spoken optimistically about being involved in pre-season for the first time in three years following his diagnosis.

"It's the most I've ever looked forward to a pre-season," he said last season. "I can't wait because I've not had one for three years."

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