FOOTBALL NEWS

17/08/2012 11:52, Report by Mark Froggatt

Boss: Fletcher doing well

Sir Alex Ferguson has given an update on the fitness of Darren Fletcher, confirming the United midfielder has returned to first team training.

In an exclusive interview with MUTV, the boss gave a tentative assessment of Fletcher’s progress after the Scottish international made his highly-anticipated return to action during the Reds’ pre-season testimonial defeat to Aberdeen.

“Darren’s fantastic, I mean obviously we are in the laps of the gods in terms of Darren because he has a certain condition that he has to handle very well,” Sir Alex said.

“At the moment he is doing very well at that, he has put the weight back on which was a big concern for the kid. But he came on for 25 minutes in Aberdeen and did very well. He trained yesterday so he is fine.”

Amongst the hubbub of Robin van Persie’s unveiling as a Manchester United player, Sir Alex looked ahead to Monday night’s Barclays Premier League opener against Everton at Goodison Park, giving a fitness update and all-but confirming how his defence will line up.

“Phil Jones is a month away, Chris Smalling is out for two months and Jonny Evans is training but not ready for Monday,”  Sir Alex revealed. “Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand played on Monday, Rafael is back from the Brazil team and Patrice Evra played for France in midweek and is available. That will more or less be the way we will be going.”

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