Reds to monitor Fletcher fitness

23 May 2011 12:00

Manchester United's backroom staff will monitor Darren Fletcher for a couple of days before deciding whether the Scotland skipper will be fit to face Barcelona in the Champions League final on Saturday.

Sir Alex Ferguson had promised to give Fletcher every chance to recover from the virus that kept him out since the beginning of March. The 27-year-old completed the full 90 minutes on Sunday as United secured a 4-2 win over Blackpool and the expectation is Fletcher will play some part in Gary Neville's testimonial on Tuesday.

"Darren has had a difficult time," admitted United assistant-boss Mike Phelan. "A Darren Fletcher up and running and firing on all cylinders gives us a hard job of picking the team. It is never easy to come back when you have been out for so long. Now we will recover him and see where he is at in a couple of days' time."

If Fletcher does not make it, he will be suffering his third lot of Champions League misery. He was an unused substitute when United beat Chelsea in Moscow three years ago.

Twelve months after that, he would have been a member of Ferguson's starting line-up against Barcelona in Rome had he not been suspended for an innocuous foul on Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas.

Now he could miss out for a third time in four years, although the straight-talking Dalkeith-born player is happy to leave his fate in Ferguson's hands.

"I feel ready to play," he said. "I have had a couple of reserve games, which I have found even more difficult because other people are trying to make an impression.

"All you can do is your best.

"The lads who got us there have done really well, so the manager has a lot of decisions to make.

"We have a big squad, everyone is fit and there is competition for places on the bench."

Source: PA