Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists he will give Darren Fletcher 'every possible chance' to prove his fitness as he battles back from a chronic bowel condition.
The Scotland international was forced to take a break from football in December after he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
There were rumours that the 28-year-old may be forced to retire because of the condition, though United have consistently denied those reports.
Speaking on his return for pre-season, Red Devils boss Ferguson conceded he did not know when Fletcher will be able to return.
He did, however, insist that United will do everything they can to try and help the Edinburgh-born star through every step of his recovery.
When quizzed on a possible comeback, Ferguson told the club's official website: "We'll wait and see about that. Obviously the boy is trying very hard to get back to his level.
"It's not going to be easy but we'll give him every possible chance and we'll see how it goes.
"He kept himself active towards the end of the season when he replaced Paul Scholes as reserves coach when Scholes decided to come back as a player.
"Darren's a terrific lad and we all hope he can come back."