Manchester United's Fletcher scores on league return

Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:52am IST

1 of 2. Darren Fletcher stretches during the Scotland soccer team training session at Dumbarton FC, Dumbarton, Scotland, October 4, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Russell Cheyne/Files

reuters - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson praised midfielder Darren Fletcher who marked his first Premier League match for over a year with a goal in the 3-1 defeat of bottom club Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Fletcher, 28, was sidelined after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis which seriously threatened his career after 58 caps for Scotland and more than 200 appearances for United.

He has played six matches this season in the Champions League and League Cup, but made his first Premier League start since last November, leaving Ferguson delighted with his recovery from the debilitating bowel condition.

"It's been a long road back for the boy and it's the first time we've played him twice in a week, " said his fellow Scot after Fletcher also played for the full 90 minutes against Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"Normally we give him that seven-day break. But he did not let us down today, he did a real Trojan's job.

"His work rate is fantastic, he's back to that now and we are all pleased for him getting a goal," he told Sky Sports.

Fletcher headed home after 68 minutes to put United 2-1 ahead at Old Trafford after QPR took the lead through James Mackie before Jonny Evans equalised.

Substitute Javier Hernandez added the third to give United three points and take them to the top of the table.

Fletcher told Sky Sports: "It was Rio's (Ferdinand) idea who told me to go up and get myself in there, so it was a good bit of management from him on the pitch.

"It's another nice moment, just playing a game right now is a nice moment this season.

"The more games I get I want to feel as though I am back and can contribute to what is hopefully going to be a successful season for us."

(Writing by Mike Collett; Editing by Mark Pangallo)

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