LONDON (AP) — Darren Fletcher was given a standing ovation by the Manchester United crowd and big pat on the back by manager Alex Ferguson after making his return to first-team action following 10 months out with a career-threatening bowel condition.
The Scotland midfielder replaced Paul Scholes to play in the final 11 minutes of United's 1-0 victory over Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday.
His last match was a 2-2 draw with Benfica in the same competition in November, since when he took an extended break because of ulcerative colitis — a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
Ferguson says "I think the supporters recognize what a difficult time the lad's had. ... Taking into consideration it was his first game for 10 months, I think he acquitted himself very well."