Manchester United FC's Scottish international midfielder Darren Fletcher has had surgery to resolve his ulcerative colitis condition and will miss the remainder of the season.
The Premier League leaders said the operation had been planned to take place at an "optimal time" and "in the best interests of his long-term health", adding: "We look forward to him returning next season with this problem firmly behind him."
Fletcher's struggle with the chronic inflammatory bowel condition caused the 28-year-old to take a break from first-team football between December 2011 and his comeback appearance against Galatasaray AŞ in September. He has featured ten times for Manchester United this season – including five UEFA Champions League group stage outings – and on three occasions for Scotland.
"Darren has trained with the team regularly this season and has been available for selection right up to the operation," United said.
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