Manchester United`s Darren Fletcher returns to action with reserves

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has made a return to competitive action, playing 67 minutes for the club`s under-21 team as he battles back from a chronic illness.

The 29-year-old Scotland captain announced in November 2011 that he was taking an extended break from the game after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a bowel condition.

He has missed most of the past two seasons, and last appeared for United`s senior team on December 26 2012.

He made his latest comeback in a 2-2 draw against Fulham`s under-21 team on Monday.

"It`s been a long time so it`s good to get back tonight," Fletcher told the Manchester United television channel.

"I`ve been training for a few weeks now and the next progression is to get some match-time. I enjoyed it.

"The plan was to get to half-time and see how I felt. Then get to 60 minutes and take it from there and, although I felt I could have gone on a bit longer, the plan was not to play more than that so I`m better sticking to the plan and not upsetting the sports science lads."