Darren Fletcher a 'long, long way' away from playing for Manchester United, warns Phelan

The Scotland international has made a return to training however the club's assistant has warned that the player has not fully recovered from his condition

Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has called for a cautious approach as Darren Fletcher steps up his recovery from his bowel condition ulcerative colitis.

After being restricted to just 10 appearances last term, the 28-year old has resumed training with the Red Devils and is set to link up with the Scotland squad at the weekend purely on a training basis as they prepare for an international friendly against Australia.

5/2 Manchester United are 5/2 to win the 2012-13 Premier League with William Hill

However, Phelan has dampened hopes that the midfielder may be set for a dramatic comeback, by warning that he still has a long way to go before he can return to the first team.

"Darren joined in for four or five days last week," Phelan told MUTV.

"We decided that, if he felt well enough and felt good, we'd bring him into a training session.

"That's developed a little bit longer than what we actually thought. I don't know what the position is but if Scotland want to take him, it's probably just to be part of the squad and to introduce him back into that.

"But there's a long, long way yet for Darren Fletcher before we see him playing again."

Phelan also revealed more injury news by adding that Phil Jones has left the squad, who are currently in Sweden preparing to take on Barcelona.

The England international has suffered a back spasm but the club are hopeful that he could be back in action soon.

"We just sent him back," stated Phelan. "There's no point having a player out here if he can't train so we sent him back."