Fletcher makes surprise Man Utd return

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has made a surprise return to action with a substitute appearance during the Premier League side’s friendly defeat to Aberdeen, the BBC has reported.

Fletcher has been suffering with a long-term intestinal complaint and had not featured in any United outing since November 2011. The Scotland international was training with the national team ahead of their friendly against Australia on Wednesday but, having returned to training with his club last month, was invited by Sir Alex Ferguson to make an appearance against the Dons. Fletcher wore the captain’s armband after appearing as a second-half substitute.

The match was a benefit for Neil Simpson, who played under Ferguson at Aberdeen and was part of the side which won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983. First team names such as Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes started the match but could not prevent Aberdeen taking a two-goal lead. Johnny Hayes opened the scoring and Joe Shaughnessy doubled the advantage before Anderson struck a late consolation.

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