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Darren Fletcher takes "extended break"


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Seems he has been suffering from Ulcerative Colitis which would explain the weight loss last year.  Nae a nice condition for anyone.

Suspect it could be quite a while before we seem him in a Scotland shirt again:

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/16165953.stm

Manchester United and Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher is taking an extended break from football for health reasons.

 

A United statement said the player, 27, has been suffering from ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel condition.

 

The club added that "Darren's continued desire to play... has probably compromised the chances of optimising his own health and fitness."

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http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2011/Dec/darren-fletcher-takes-a-break.aspx

 

On behalf of Darren Fletcher, Manchester United wishes to announce that he is taking an extended break from football for health reasons.

 

Over the past year he has had several absence periods which we have attributed to a viral illness in order to respect his right to medical confidentiality. Darren has, in fact, been suffering from ulcerative colitis (a chronic inflammatory bowel condition) for some time preceding this.

 

Whilst he was able to maintain remission of symptoms for a considerable period this has proved more difficult recently and Darren’s continued desire to play and his loyalty to both his club and country has probably compromised the chances of optimising his own health and fitness.

 

He has therefore accepted medical advice to take an extended break from the demands of training and playing in order to afford the best chance possible of achieving full remission once again.

 

We request that his privacy is respected and hope that the removal of the additional stress associated with speculation regarding his health will also aid his recovery.

 

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

 

The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. People with this condition have problems with the immune system, but it is not clear whether immune problems cause this illness. Although stress and certain foods can trigger symptoms, they do not cause ulcerative colitis.

 

Ulcerative colitis may affect any age group, although there are peaks at ages 15 - 30 and then again at ages 50 - 70.

 

The disease usually begins in the rectal area, and may involve the entire large intestine over time.

 

Risk factors include a family history of ulcerative colitis, or Jewish ancestry.

 

The symptoms vary in severity and may start slowly or suddenly. About half of people only have mild symptoms. Others have more severe attacks that occur more often. Many factors can lead to attacks, including respiratory infections or physical stress.

 

Symptoms include:

 

    Abdominal pain and cramping

 

    Abdominal sounds (a gurgling or splashing sound heard over the intestine)

 

    Blood and pus in the stools

 

    Diarrhea, from only a few episodes to very often

 

    Fever

 

    Tenesmus (rectal pain)

 

    Weight loss

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  • 6 months later...
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."

 

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."

 

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  • 6 months later...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21069820

I hate to say it but I wonder if that is it for Fletch now

Darren Fletcher: Manchester United player has bowel surgery  Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will miss the rest of the season following surgery to resolve his chronic bowel disease.

    The 28-year-old Scotland captain had to take a break from the game in December 2011 because of ulcerative colitis but returned to make 13 appearances this season for club and country.

    His last appearance was on Boxing Day as an 89th-minute substitute in the 4-3 victory over Newcastle.

    United say the surgery was planned.

  Fletcher's career

  •         Age: 28
  •         Man Utd appearances: 310
  •         Man Utd goals: 23
  •         Scotland appearances: 61
  •         Scotland goals: 7
  •         Honours: 4 Premier League titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), 1 FA Cup (2004), 2 League Cups (2006, 2010), 1 Champions League (2008), 1 World Club Cup (2008)
  •         Debut: v Basel, 12 March 2003 (Champions League second group stage)
  •         Most recent game: v Newcastle, 26 December 2012 (Premier League)

    A club statement read:  "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."

New Scotland manager Gordon Strachan praised Fletcher's "commitment and pride" in playing for his country.

    "I'm sure I speak for all Scotland fans when I say I hope that the operation allows Darren to overcome his condition and resume his role as a major influence for club and country in his own time," he said.

    "In the meantime, I have stressed to him that, as captain, he remains an integral part of the international set-up and that he is welcome to join up with the squad at any time during his recovery."

    Fletcher, who is contracted to the Red Devils until 2015, returned to first-team football after 11 months out when he came off the bench in United's 1-0 Champions League win against Galatasaray in September.

    He made his Scotland comeback in the 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat by Wales in October.

    However his last start was on Saturday, 1 December in their 4-3 win at Reading and since then he has made only two brief substitute appearances.

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  • 1 year later...
Manchester United's Darren Fletcher has revealed the true extent of the debilitating illness that has disrupted the last three years of his career.

 

Fletcher was diagnosed with chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis  in 2011 but has returned after surgery.

 

"You can be running to the toilet 10, 20, 30 times a day and losing a lot of blood," said the Scotland midfielder.

 

"I ended up in hospital a couple of times on an IV drip. Surgery enabled me to be here today. I'm very fortunate."

Continue reading the main story

 

    “I've got young children and just trying to be a dad was very difficult”

 

Darren Fletcher

 

Fletcher first noticed the problem in 2008 but it was not until two years later that it began to have a detrimental impact on his life and career.

 

"I remember when I was first diagnosed being very blasé about it - looking back now that was quite immature," said the 30-year-old.

 

"But as a professional footballer playing in the Premier League for Manchester United I felt on top of the world, I felt untouchable.

 

"I stayed silent until about 2011 or 2012 because it's not something you generally talk about, the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. My close family and friends knew, but nobody else knew at the club.

 

"I found it difficult, making up stories for reasons why I wasn't at training, why I was looking ill, why I was feeling ill, why I was rushing off to the bathroom. Basically lying to people's faces.

 

"Once I started talking about it and making it public knowledge it was such a relief; it was the best thing I did."

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