Manchester United have today confirmed that Darren Fletcher will take an extended break from football for health reasons.

Fletcher has been suffering from ulcerative colitis for some time which has lead to long periods on the sidelines.

The club’s medical staff have advised that he takes time out from playing to give him the best “chance possible of achieving full remission once again.”

Get well soon, Fletch.

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. People with this condition have problems with the immune system, but it is not clear whether immune problems cause this illness.

About half of patients with ulcerative colitis have mild symptoms. Patients with more severe ulcerative colitis tend to respond less well to medications.

Permanent and complete control of symptoms with medications is unusual. Cure is only possible through complete removal of the large intestine. The risk of colon cancer increases in each decade after ulcerative colitis is diagnosed.