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Fletcher returns in Aberdeen friendly

Darren Fletcher made his first Manchester United appearance in nine months after coming on as a substitute during a testimonial match at Aberdeen.

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Fletcher, who has not played since November after being diagnosed with a chronic bowel condition, came off the bench in the second half as United were beaten 2-1 in Neil Simpson's testimonial.

Former Dons manager Sir Alex Ferguson included the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand in his side, while Dwight Yorke also made a cameo appearance for United.

Fletcher, who has been training with Scotland, took a big step towards a first-team return as he replaced Giggs as captain, completing the final half-an-hour at Pittodrie.

"It's been quiet progress for the boy," United boss Sir Alex Ferguson told MUTV before the match. "He joined in training a couple of weeks ago and it's one of those situations where you say: 'Let's see how he does' because he has had a really difficult time in the last year."

Ferdinand tweeted after the match: "Welcome back Darren Fletcher, great to see my man ratting round the pitch!! Deserves some luck now."

Aberdeen took an unexpected lead in the game after 38 minutes when Jonny Hayes pounced on a rare lapse by Scholes when he dispossessed the midfielder and coolly slotted the ball past David De Gea.

The Dons doubled their lead when Joe Shaughnessy turned the ball home from an Andrew Considine pass after United failed to deal with a Rob Milsom corner. Yorke had a strike ruled out for offside before Anderson pulled a goal back for United after 81 minutes with a neat finish, but Aberdeen held on for a surprise victory.


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