Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will miss the club’s pre season tour of the United States. The 27 year old has made only one start since 1 March after being struck down by a virus. “Darren will remain at Carrington to undergo a conditioning programme given he missed a large proportion of last season” said a club spokesman “we want to give him the best opportunity to be fully fit for the start of the new season.”
Fletcher lost a significant amount of weight thanks to the virus and the club hope the Scotland captain could be involved in Paul Scholes’ testimonial against New York Cosmos on 5 August or the Community Shield two days later. “We tried to accelerate things and we feel a reduction in the amount of time Darren spends travelling will help him achieve this” added the spokesman.
“Missing the tour will help him catch up fitness wise to the levels of the rest of the team.” With Fletcher missing, manager Sir Alex Ferguson will take an initial squad of 21 with him on Monday. Of his three new signings, only England international Ashley Young will be on board, having taken the number 18 shirt vacated by Scholes’ retirement. Fellow new boys De Gea and Jones will wear the No 1 and No 4 shirts respectively
Midfielder Darron Gibson and goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak, who are both expected to leave the club this summer, will also miss the tour while a further six players – Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, David de Gea, Phil Jones and Javier Hernández will fly out at a later point.
A United spokesman said Fletcher, who returned to action shortly before the end of last season, would be given a special training programme at the club’s Carrington training ground. “This will help him catch up fitness wise to the levels of the rest of the team” he said.
GOALKEEPERS: Ben Amos, David de Gea*, Sam Johnston, Andres Lindegaard
DEFENDERS: Fabio Da Silva, Rafael Da Silva, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jones*, Chris Smalling*, Nemanja Vidic
MIDFIELDERS: Anderson, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley*, Ryan Giggs, Nani, Gabriel Obertan,Ji-SungPark
FORWARDS: Dimitar Berbatov, Mame Biram Diouf, Javier Hernandez*, Federico Macheda, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck*, Ashley Young
*Will join the tour at a later date
Is Fletchers ongoing illness becoming a concern?