Manchester United's Darren Fletcher will be taking an extended break.
BBC reports that Fletcher suffers from ulcerative colitis -- a chronic inflammatory bowel condition. Fletcher, 27, last played on November 22. Fletcher has reportedly "accepted medical advice to take an extended break." Fletcher is taking the break "in order to afford the best chance possible of achieving full remission once again."
A statement from Manchester United reads, "Darren's continued desire to play and his loyalty to both club and country has probably compromised the chances of optimising his own health and fitness. We request that his privacy is respected and hope that the removal of the additional stress associated with speculation regarding his health will also aid his recovery."
As the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia explains, ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Stress and certain foods can trigger symptoms of ulcerative colitis, but they do not cause it.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Abdominal sounds (a gurgling or splashing sound heard over the intestine)
- Blood and pus in the stools
- Diarrhea, from only a few episodes to very often
- Tenesmus (rectal pain)
- Weight loss
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Joint pain and swelling
- Mouth sores (ulcers)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin lumps or ulcers
Read more about Darren Fletcher here.