Darren Fletcher's playing career over?

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It's very sad if Fletcher was to retire. From Ferguson's lack of optimism, I think it suggests the game with Benfica was Fletchers swan song.

Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will be given another role at the club if he cannot make a comeback from a chronic bowel complaint.

Fletcher has been out of first team action since November with ulcerative colitis, but had been hoping to make his return at pre-season training.

"He has obviously got great challenges ahead," said manager Ferguson.

"If it doesn't work for him, he knows he has a position at the club anyway."

Fletcher, 28, has been missing from the United first team since scoring in the 2-2 Champions League draw at home to Benfica on 22 November.

Ferguson said the club would provide the Scotland international, who signed a four-year extension with United in March 2011, with "all the time he needs".

"We are happy to be patient but he won't be starting the season," he added. "It is unfortunate because he is such a magnificent professional and such a nice lad."

More+Video @ http://www.bbc.co.uk...otball/18813161

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Not that I've ever rated him, nonetheless it's pretty tough on the guy! Best of luck to him for the future.

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