Darren Fletcher to miss Manchester United tour

Darren Fletcher
Fletcher has won four Premier League titles with Manchester United

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will miss the club's pre-season tour of the United States.

The 27-year-old has made only one start since 1 March after being struck down by a virus.

"Darren will remain at Carrington to undergo a conditioning programme given he missed a large proportion of last season," said a club spokesman.

"We want to give him the best opportunity to be fully fit for the start of the new season."

Fletcher lost a significant amount of weight thanks to the virus and the club hope the Scotland captain could be involved in Paul Scholes' testimonial against New York Cosmos on 5 August, or the Community Shield two days later.

"We tried to accelerate things and we feel a reduction in the amount of time Darren spends travelling will help him achieve this," added the spokesman.

"[Missing the tour] will help him catch up fitness-wise to the levels of the rest of the team."

With Fletcher missing, manager Sir Alex Ferguson will take an initial squad of 21 with him on Monday.

Of his three new signings, only England international Ashley Young will be on board, having taken the number 18 shirt vacated by Scholes' retirement.