Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out the prospect of Darren Fletcher playing again this season.

31824 - Darren Fletcher out for the season - Fergie

Fletcher, who spent a large spell on the sidelines last term due to illness, has not played since November on account of a chronic bowel complaint.

The club revealed at the end of last year that the Scotland international was taking an indefinite break from the game.

It had recently been claimed that the 27-year-old was progressing to the extent that he could be in line for a return, but Ferguson has quashed the talk.

"I don't expect Fletcher to come back," said the United boss. "Darren will be out for the season."