Scotland manager Craig Levein has sent a message of support to international captain Darren Fletcher after it was revealed that the player was taking time out of football due to ill health.
“I am obviously absolutely devastated for Darren because I know how hard he has worked to get back to playing regularly for his club and country," Levein said.
"He is one of the most inspirational players I have had the pleasure of working with and on behalf of his Scotland team-mates and my backroom staff I sincerely hope this time off, allied to the support of his family, will enable him to make a full recovery.
Manchester United announced on Tuesday that Fletcher would be taking an extended break from football as he fights a chronic inflammatory bowel condition known as ulcerative colitis.
Fletcher will not be available for club or country as he works to regain full health. Levein said the most important thing was for the player to regain fitness and wished him well in his recovery.
“Darren has shown tremendous dedication and fortitude, demonstrated by his ability to overcome this illness and perform at the highest level for Manchester United and Scotland,” Levein added.
“I spoke with Sir Alex Ferguson and Darren this week and the most important thing at this stage is for the player to be given time to rest and recuperate. Nobody is more committed to his country’s cause than our captain.
“He is a central part of our plans for the World Cup 2014 qualifiers but at this stage his health is paramount and I would like to reiterate the best wishes of everyone at involved with the national team and the Scottish FA.”