22/07/2013 11:46, Report by Nick Coppack in Japan

Fletch close to comeback

Darren Fletcher believes he could play again for Manchester United “not long after the start of the season”.

The Scotland midfielder’s last appearance came on Boxing Day 2012, shortly before he underwent surgery in a bid to help manage a serious bowel condition.

This is the second extended break the 29-year-old has been forced to take from football in the last 18 months, although Fletcher feels it won’t be long before he’s back out on the pitch.

“I think I will just miss the beginning of the season," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It's all going well. I am still under the hands of the medical team just now and the surgeon who is looking after me. Everything is going to plan so far and I am not that far away now.

“I've not been given the green light to join in contact in football training but I am doing my own running and physical activities and feel great. Hopefully in the next few weeks I am going to get the green light to join in and to start making the comeback, which is looking very good.”

Manchester United’s Barclays English Premier League campaign begins on Saturday 17 August, away at Swansea City (17:30 BST).

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